Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hasan Ali 'Stalling' Probe, ED Tells Court

Mumbai : Hasan Ali Khan, the Pune stud farm owner under arrest on money laundering charge, is “stalling” the investigations by not disclosing details of transactions in his foreign accounts, the Enforcement Directorate has told a court.

In its remand application submitted to the court, the ED has said though Khan had admitted to have opened a large number of foreign accounts, he did not explain why these were opened and what transactions took place.

The sessions court is likely to take up the application for extension of Khan’s judicial custody tomorrow.

The document claimed Khan had also admitted to have dealt with antique jewellery belonging to the family of the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad and earned Rs 40 to Rs 50 lakh.  However, he has not divulged the details of the source of these antiques which needed to be probed further, it said.

The ED said co-accused Kashinath Tapuriah had said Khan had informed him that he had lockers in UBS, Zurich, containing a lot of antique jewellery, some of which were very rare. Philip Anandraj, an aide of Khan, had also said Khan had told him that he had a locker at the UBS and asked him (Anandraj) if he could obtain another one in the same bank so that he could transfer the contents in the new locker.

The ED also said it has summoned Amelndu Kumar Pandey, a Congress politician from Bihar, who allegedly helped Khan obtain passport from Patna passport office by fabricating documents. Summons to Pandey has already been sent and he is likely to appear on April 14.

“It is necessary to confront Khan with Pandey to unearth the transactions undertaken by Khan in Singapore and the reasons for obtaining a second passport from Patna.”

ED sources said summons had been sent to Pandey, who had travelled with Khan and Tapuriah to Singapore, earlier also but he did not appear before the agency.

Contending that Khan had an account with UBS, Singapore, which was later transfered to Zurich, the ED said he had informed Tapuriah that Dr Peter Weilly, the UBS incharge, was creating obstacles in operating it and that it would be better to have another one opened with SBC, Singapore, ‘which was also a big bank’.

“Tapuriah has stated that he knew Mr Vishwanathan, incharge of SBC Singapore, and through him an account in the name of Khan was opened”, the ED said.

Further, according to the ED, Khan had told Vishwanathan that he had given instructions to Weilly to transfer 75 million US dollars to Khan’s account in SBC, Singapore.

Meanwhile, the sessions court extended Khan’s judicial custody for a day and directed the ED to produce him before it tomorrow.

Khan was taken into custody by the ED on March 17 after the Supreme Court cancelled the bail granted by a trial court.

The ED has questioned Khan, facing close to Rs 70,000 crore tax demand notice from the Income-Tax Department, with regard to his past trips to various countries and his business dealings within the country. PTI


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