New Delhi: The government on Tuesday said both the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and I-T Department are pursuing cases relating to the alleged tax evasion of up to USD 15 billion and money laundering by Pune-based stud farm owner Hasan Ali.
"Investigation is still continuing...The case is being pursued both by the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.
Stating that there were several cases involved against Ali, including a double passport case, apart from avoidance of taxes, Mukherjee said the ED had received information on three Swiss bank accounts allegedly held by him, where no amounts were left.
"One account where 60,000 dollars were deposited, and next day the amount was withdrawn. There was no trace of that," he said.
The Finance Minister said the government did receive information on foreign bank accounts, including Swiss, and seized some documents which turned out to be forged.
"On the basis of forged document no information can be given (by Swiss banks)," he added.
In January 2007, India had submitted a request for legal assistance to Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) for help in the case of Ali, who first came under the radar of authorities in 2006.
His farm house in Pune was searched several times by the tax authorities and later the Enforcement Directorate got into the act and initiated action against him on money laundering allegations.
After a search on the premises of Ali in 2007, I-T department had found one of the documents containing information which showed that he had around USD 8 billion in the UBS AG, a Swiss Bank.
Based on the various documents, tax demand of Rs 71,846 crore (around USD 15 billion) was raised by I-T department in December 2008.
Besides Ali, persons named in the case are his wife Rheema Hasan Ali, his associate Kashinath Tapuriah and his wife Chandrika Tapuriah and a related entity RM Investment Pvt Limited.
The Income Tax department had also seized Rs 90 lakh in cash from Ali and his three properties were attached.