Indians wanted over fraud in Nigeria: Anti-graft agency | india | Hindustan Times
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Indians wanted over fraud in Nigeria: Anti-graft agency

Nigeria's anti-graft agency said it was hunting down owners of an Indian business group, Vaswani Brothers, for allegedly defrauding the country of $20 million in unpaid taxes.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2009 23:14 IST

Nigeria's anti-graft agency said it was hunting down owners of an Indian business group, Vaswani Brothers, for allegedly defrauding the country of $20 million in unpaid taxes.

"Recently, they defrauded the federal government of Nigeria of the sum of $20 million through one of their business outfits," head of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Farida Waziri, told reporters yesterday.

"The fraud was perpetrated through underpayment of customs duties while importing rice into the country," she said adding: "They have been declared wanted."

Waziri said Vaswani Brothers, who own the Stallion group of companies in Nigeria -- a vehicle and food import outfit, were being investigated for "sundry allegations bordering on financial crimes".

Waziri said the company had been "engaging in activities that are inimical to the economy".

Vaswani Brothers have had a run-in with Nigerian authorities before. They were deported from Nigeria in 2003 after a probe into their operations, but were allowed back into the country in 2007.

But "recent investigations of the activities of the company and its owners show clearly that they have continuously and consistently perfected the art of underpayment of custom duties," said Waziri.