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IREO lists investors, denies charges

india Updated: Nov 21, 2010 22:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Real-estate company IREO group has submitted to the income tax (I-T) department details of the 523 investors who infused more than $1.5 billion funds into the private-equity funded firm.

IREO (Indian Real Estate Opportunity) is said to have suspected political links as its managing director, Lalit Goyal, is related by marriage to BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal, who is under a cloud over contracts executed by his company during the recent Commonwealth Games, which is being probed for irregularities linked to alleged corruption. However, both deny any wrongdoing.

I-T department sleuths, who carried out search operations at IREO's office in Gurgaon last month, are scrutinising the data to find out whether Indian resident entities have routed investments through shell companies in tax havens Mauritius and Cyprus in a specially created entity, the IREO Fund.

"The company has submitted details of 523 foreign entities who have invested in IREO. All told, these entities have invested $1.57 billion (about Rs 7,000 crore)," an I-T department source said.

The company maintained that all its investments were legitimately routed adhering to established norms.

"There cannot be any better quality of blue-chip investors than those who have invested in IREO," Lalit Goyal told Hindustan Times.

Investors include JP Morgan Chase, TPG Axon, Citadel Investment Group, Tiger Partners, university endowment funds such as Stanford University, University of Minnesota, University of Rochester and sovereign wealth funds such as Temasek of Singapore.

"The investment decisions and affairs of the fund are run by the fund managers based out of New York and Mauritius," the company said in statement.

The I-T department has written to Mauritius and Cyprus seeking details of these firms and whether there was any incidence of tax evasion there.

IREO said its fund invests in projects in India through 100%-owned subsidiaries in both Mauritius and Cyprus through proper banking channels.

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