The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday released bank statements of three accounts in the HSBC in Switzerland of offshore companies allegedly set up by Raninder Singh, son of Capt Amarinder Singh, showing transaction of lakhs of dollars at a time when Amarinder was the Punjab chief minister from 2002 to 2007.
Addressing a press conference here, AAP senior leader Ashish Khetan alleged that in 2005 when Amarinder was the Punjab chief minister, his son created a web of at least seven offshore companies, all registered under British Virgin Islands, to siphon off crores of rupees from India.
Khetan alleged that two prime properties were bought by Raninder’s companies in London and Dubai at a time when Amarinder was the chief minister. “A request to transfer the property unit, P29, Marina Mansions, Dubai, UAE, was received from Amarinder, whom the income tax officials, in their investigation, termed as a discretionary beneficiary of the Jacaranda Trust (JT), which was the parent entity of all seven offshore companies. It is baffling that the IT department has not recorded Amarinder’s statement in the ongoing investigations,” Khaitan said.
He alleged that Raninder also involved a close relative in these transactions. Quoting the minutes of the meeting of the HSBC officials with Raninder and this relative in London and Delhi, Khetan said the bank officials had a tough time getting the approval for these clients. According to him, bank officials said Raninder and his relative objected strongly to the way in which they had asked detailed questions.
“Raninder’s relative told the HSBC bank officials that real Swiss banks such as UBS or CS would have never asked such questions before opening the accounts. This shows both Raninder and his relative had quite an experience of opening foreign bank accounts,” said Khetan.
Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said it was surprising that though the Raninder case appeared in the media, neither chief minister Parkash Singh Badal nor deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal commented on it.
What the papers released by AAP show
· Preneet Kaur opened her account in HSBC private bank in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 26, 2005, using her address as New Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala.
· Raninder opened his account in the same bank. Similarly the Jacaranda Trust’s account was opened on July 26, 2005.
· Preneet and Raninder floated companies by the name of Mulwala Holdings Limited on June 28, 2006, Chllingham Holdings Limited on July 26, 2005, Allworth Venture Holdings Limited on July, 26, 2005 and Limerlock International Limited on July 25, 2005, all with different account numbers in this bank.
· The amount of money in the accounts runs into several lakh dollars, though Khetan clarified that the money in these accounts is in constant rotation, used to buy and sell properties.