Black money: Swiss national denies ED claims

Former executive director of United Bank of Switzerland Prabhu Guptara, whose name was linked to alleged tax evader Hasan Ali Khan, on Sunday said he did not have any association with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

Last Updated: Apr 10, 2011, 15:12 PM IST

Mumbai: Former executive director of United
Bank of Switzerland Prabhu Guptara, whose name was linked to
alleged tax evader Hasan Ali Khan, on Sunday said he did not have
any association with international arms dealer Adnan
Khashoggi.

According to the Enforcement Directorate, Hasan and his
close aide Kashinath Tapuria, also arrested in the case, had
sent a notarized document through one Philip Anandraj to
Guptara in Switzerland which he passed on to the United Bank
of Switzerland (UBS).

The document allegedly contained information about
financial transactions and linkages with arms dealer Adnan
Khashoggi.

Guptara was named by the Enforcement Directorate in its
first remand application dated March 8 seeking Hasan`s
custody, which was the first time that his name figured in the
multi-crore money laundering case for having links with the
arrested Pune stud farm owner.

Acknowledging that though he had received a letter from
"a" Hasan Ali through Anandraj some five years back, he said
his action of passing on the letter to concerned authorities
in UBS was as per the "Indian tradition" of having the
courtesy of simply helping a fellow countryman.

"Anyone can write a letter to me or to anyone else. All
that I did was that when I received a letter from a fellow
Indian, I just passed it on to the authorities concerned,"
Guptara said in an email interview.

"Maybe I was (naive). But I would rather naively help an
Indian I do not know. And I don`t regret doing so, except
that now it may cost me some goodwill, time and energy due to
the insinuations since then," he said.

Guptara, who retired from UBS as executive director,
Organisational Development, at subsidiary company Wolfsberg in
February this year, said he is surprised that no investigating
agency had approached him to know the truth.

"I have not been approached by any probe agency -- Indian
or Swiss -- so far," Guptara, who was in India last month,
said.

Refuting the ED`s claims that the document contained
information about Hasan`s linkages with Khashoggi, he 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."

PTI