Pune raid yields a host of Swiss accounts

A recent I-T raid lead to unveil ten Swiss bank accounts of Indians, report Manish Pachouly & Yogesh Joshi.
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Updated on Mar 09, 2007 02:56 AM IST
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None | ByManish Pachouly and Yogesh Joshi

A recent raid on the Pune and Mumbai properties of stud-farm owner Hasan Ali Khan has led the income-tax (I-T) department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to 10 Swiss banks accounts held by Indian politicians, corporate bosses and builders.

ED officials said they also stumbled upon other accounts allegedly held by people linked with the underworld and terrorist groups during the investigation. “This is a matter of great concern and the government has been informed,” said an ED officer.

Although the Ministry of Finance issued a press statement through the Press Information Bureau on Thursday confirming the raid and the discovery of foreign accounts, it did not confirm the quantum of tax evasion, saying that the matter was still being investigated.

In Mumbai, I-T sources, who declined to be named, said the amount in the 10 Swiss accounts added up to over Rs 20,000 crore.

I-T officials had raided Khan’s properties in Pune and Mumbai in January. At his Peddar Road residence, they found a laptop containing information about the Swiss accounts, following which the ED got involved in the case. One officer each from the Mumbai and Delhi ED went to Switzerland and froze seven of the 10 accounts. The ED has now begun an investigation into the money-laundering involved while making these deposits.

The van reappeared around 2.30 pm and the person asking about the golden ring put his gloves on, took the trophy out and, with a fair amount of ceremony, put it on a podium. It stayed there for an hour as it was supposed to, but photographers were told to keep their distance.

After the trophy had been taken away, the blame game started. Fingers have even been pointed at the ICC. In the evening, a release from a Mumbai-based agency said the "lower gold ring of the ICC CWC trophy was detached from the wooden base" when it received the trophy from the ICC.

“ICC policy does not allow anyone except the official trophy makers to repair/polish the trophy," the release said. "Therefore, LG received the trophy with the lower ring detached from the wooden base."

The statement came after an LG official, speaking from Delhi, said he did not know whether the trophy had come to India already damaged. Asked why only four men were guarding the Cup, the LG official said the personnel were trained and the company was only following the instructions of the ICC.

Messages on the voicemail of ICC's media spokesmen were not responded to, and hence questions like why the original trophy was taken around in this manner went unanswered.

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