New Delhi: In yet another big exposé, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Friday claimed that a senior Congress leader has given him a list of Indians who have accounts in the Geneva branch of HSBC Bank where they have stacked black money routed out of India illegally through hawala.
A CD containing names of 700 individuals, who had account in the bank as of December 2006, was handed over to the government of India by France, Kejriwal said. He claimed that the 700 Indians have Rs 6,000 crore stashed away in Swiss bank accounts.
As per Kejriwal, Mukesh Ambani had Rs 100 crore, Reliance Industries - Rs 500 crore, Anil Ambani - Rs 100 crore, Kokilaben Ambani also had an account but the balance was zero as on December 2006, software company Motek in which Ambanis had shares - Rs 2,100 crore.
Sandip Tandon, the director of Motek was formerly an Enforcement directorate official, had Rs 125 crore and his wife Anu Tandon Rs 125 crore.
Kejriwal claimed that Sandip Tandon, while he was in the ED, had conducted raids at Reliance Industries but later he grew very close to Mukesh Ambani and now his two sons hold senior positions in RIL. Anu Tandon is the Congress MP from Unnao and is known to be in Rahul Gandhi’s team, Kejriwal claimed.
He also named Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal of having Rs 80 crore in the HSBC account. Three members of the Burman family – Anand Chand, Pradip Chand, Ratan Chand - which own Dabur, also have Rs 25 crore stacked aboard.
Interestingly, Kejriwal also claimed that one new minister SMSed me to keep up his team's efforts against Robert Vadra's land deals. “I was surprised, Sonia made him minister,” he said.
He said that out of the 700 people, only around 150 people faced I-T raids. “All were small fishes with savings of Rs 5-7cr,” he said.
Kejriwal alleged that the govt is not seeking account details from the Ambanis, Burman brothers, Naresh Goyal and Yashovardhan Birla and went on to demand that the government initiate a probe by the Income Tax department or the Enforcement Directorate against the Ambanis and others named in the list.
The anti-corruption activist also targeted President Pranab Mukherjee. He said, “Pranab Mukherjee made a scheme to protect these people…. planned amnesty for all the 700 Swiss account holders. When all these happened Pranab Mukherjee was finance minister. He is the President now but the country demands answers.”
Making serious charges against HSBC bank, Kejriwal said the bank is involved in money laundering in the country and hence all its operations be suspended. “The way they (HSBC) made India vulnerable to corruption, terror and drugs and senior officials of the ban should be booked and tried for waging war against the country.”
“Even Ambani and Burman brothers and Naresh Goyal should be arrested,” he added.
Interestingly, he quoted Economic Times report dated January 04, 2012 that HSBC Plc had apologised to Mukesh Ambani for wrongly embroiling him in an investigation by IT. “So is HSBC's just saying sorry to Mukesh Ambani enough? This is a criminal case and should be thoroughly investigated,” he stressed.
He further claimed that a lot of money coming through foreign institutional investors is not foreign investment but black money rerouted into the country and that HSBC operates through the FII mode.
Attacking the government over the issue, he said the government can actually stop these Swiss banks from functioning in India but they won't do so because many in government have Swiss accounts.
Kejriwal also appealed to the 32,000 Indians who work in HSBC to quit their jobs in national interest. “I appeal to them to quit their jobs. India is their country. They will get jobs in Indian banks,” he said.
First Published: Friday, November 09, 2012, 08:53