Hasan Ali case: ED summons two ex-employees of UBS Switzerland
Mumbai: Enforcement Directorate has issued summons to two former employees of UBS Switzerland to appear before a special court here in connection with its multi-crore money laundering probe against Pune stud-farm owner Hasan Ali Khan.
The summons, issued on the directions of a local court, have been issued against former executive Director of United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) Prabhu Guptara and another former employee Peter Willie under section 59 (1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the duo have been asked to be present in the court anytime between April 9-13.
The section, under the stringent anti-money laundering law, is used for "reciprocal arrangements for processes and assistance for transfer of accused persons."
In the same case, the agency has also recently sent a Letters Rogatory (LR) to the European nation of Luxembourg, urging it to obtain additional information about transfer of funds by Khan and his associate Kashinath Tapuriah worth 18 million USD from the Royal Bank of Luxembourg.
The ED, according to sources, is probing Guptara's role for allegedly helping Khan establish contact with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.
According to the agency, Khan and Tapuriah had allegedly sent a notarised document through another associate Philip Anandraj to Guptara in Switzerland which he passed on to the UBS.
The document allegedly contained information about financial transactions and linkages with Khashoggi.
The ED, along with the Income Tax department, is probing allegations of huge financial irregularities against Khan, his wife Rheema, Tapuriah and his wife Chandrika Tapuriah.
Guptara, who retired from UBS as Executive Director, Organisational Development, at subsidiary company, Wolfsberg in February last year, had earlier acknowledged that he had received a letter from "a" Hasan Ali through Anandraj some five years back.
He had said his action of passing on the letter to concerned authorities in the UBS was as per the "Indian tradition" of having the courtesy of simply helping a fellow countryman.
Refuting the ED's claims that the document contained information about Khan's linkages with Khashoggi, he had said, "I have no links with Khashoggi. I did not get any document.
Only a letter claiming to be from a Hasan Ali, which, as explained, was passed on to the UBS authorities."
In the Luxembourg case, the ED, in its chargesheet, had said that two amounts of USD 11 million and USD 7 million respectively from the company accounts of Tapuriah were allegedly transferred through Royal Bank of Luxembourg in 2005.
Khan, according to I-T records, owes Rs 50,345.73 crore in taxes for assessment year 2009-10. He and his associates will now have to pay the government Rs 89,000 crore including penalties.
The ED has accused Khan of allegedly stashing away USD eight billion of unaccounted money in foreign banks and his properties in Mumbai and Pune have also been recently attached by the agency.
The ED had arrested Khan, his wife Rheema, Tapuriah and his wife last year under the PMLA and they are in jail at present.