The growing rift between Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan and Kolkata-based industrialist Kashinath Tapuriah helped the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in extracting information pertaining to their money laundering and tax evasion activities.
Their statements, which are part of the charge sheet recently filed by the ED, show that Tapuriah's interrogation was based on the information divulged by Khan during his questioning. Khan and Tapuriah were close, but their ties soured after the former's arrest in March. The duo contradicted each other on most of the issues, ED sources said.
"The growing differences between them helped us in getting vital details," an ED official said, adding the agency is currently verifying their statements. ED sources said that Khan spilled the beans on Tapuriah's bank transactions and revealed his account details.
On March 21, Khan had told the agency that in 2005 he came to know that in addition to the transaction of $75 million (Rs337 crore), Tapuriah had transferred $11 million (Rs49.5 crore) and $7 million (Rs31.5 crore) from his (Tapuriah's) company account with the Royal Bank of Luxembourg. However, Tapuriah denied having any account in the said bank. He also denied transferring any amount.
Khan had also alleged that Tapuriah was managing his (Khan's) account in the SBC Bank, Singapore. He also alleged that the Kolkata-based industrialist had used his SBC Bank account for routing funds, including $560 million (Rs2,500 crore).
Tapuriah, however, negated Khan's allegation and said that he had not used any SBC Bank account for routing or transferring funds. He, however, accepted that he travelled with Khan to open his (Khan's) account at the SBC Bank, Singapore, as he (Khan) had promised him (Tapuriah) money in return. "Khan's money was lying in the UBS (bank). I had suggested him to open an account with the SBC Bank, Singapore, and asked him to divide and transfer some of his funds," Tapuriah said.
Khan also revealed Tapuriah owned two companies - Paysons Limited and Autumn Holdings Limited, adding that Tapuriah and Bjorn Andersson were the lawful attorney for these companies; Tapuriah said these two companies belonged to Khan and not him.
Khan had also alleged that substantial amounts lay in the accounts of the two companies in the UBS, which was denied by Tapuriah.
In the interrogation, Khan also disclosed that Tapuriah and Russian business tycoon Suleiman Kerimov entered into a deal in 2003 for which $3 billion (Rs13,500 crore) was to be transferred and Tapuriah wanted Khan to open an account with the UBS, Zurich. But the Kolkata-based industrialist denied links with Kerimov.
Tapuriah also revealed how Khan used to flaunt his proximity with politicians.
Reacting to Khan's statements, Tapuriah's lawyer Girish Kulkarni said he trusted Khan. Khan's lawyer IP Bagaria, however, refused to comment.