Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan had not lost his passport as he had claimed while requesting a second one in London in 2003. The truth: a Russian tycoon, whose $3 billion (R13,500 crore) he had diverted, had forcibly taken it from him following a monetary dispute in London.
This came to light during the recent investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the questioning of Khan and his associate Kashinath Tapuriah.
A senior ED official, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media said, during questioning Tapuriah told them Khan had borrowed a few million from the Russian tycoon, but had trouble returning it.
When the Russian failed to recover the money from Khan, he forcibly took away the latter's passport.
However, in his statement Khan said the Russian tycoon was actually upset because a deal between him (the tycoon) and Tapuriah was not materialising.
The ED is working on Khan and Tapuriah's links with the Russian as it had got information that Khan had diverted money for the Russian. The ED had got information Tapuriah had worked out the deal with the Russian and Khan executed it.
Khan had earlier maintained he had lost his Indian passport on June 28, 2003. He had also stated loss of passport as the reason before the Indian embassy in London while filing an application for a new one on June 30, 2003. The new passport was issued to him on July 10, 2003.
Meanwhile, the ED has got some fresh leads about two monetary transfers from Khan’s account in SBC Bank, Singapore, to a bank account in Russia.