Abhishek Verma case: IT may approach Swiss authorities
New Delhi: Income Tax department authorities may soon approach the Swiss government to obtain fresh information on the investments and finances of arms dealer Abhishek Verma for its probe against him and his associates for alleged tax evasion.
The IT may approach the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to activate the provisions of the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with the alpine nation after Verma was recently arrested by CBI for allegedly receiving money from a Swiss arms company to delist them from the companies blacklisted by Indian government.
Under the DTAA, the IT can obtain banking and other tax related details against an individual for launching criminal prosecution under Indian laws.
The tax department is looking to probe a recent complaint filed by Verma in a local court alleging that his US-based business partner C Edmonds Allen, an American attorney, and Delhi-based Arjun Arora had duped him of Rs 55 crore, which was to be paid to him in lieu of his consultancy services to them.
The IT's criminal investigation directorate has recently participated in the searches on Verma's premises conducted by the CBI as it feels that this Rs 55 crore could be unaccounted and illegal.
The department feels that it can gather details related to Verma's sources of income and assets by approaching Switzerland, as it has been probing his financial dealings in the Naval war room leak case, also under the scanner for money laundering charges by the Enforcement Directorate.
The latest probe by the IT is in the same case as that of the CBI--regarding transactions of funds between Ganton India and Ganton USA, which are claimed to be Verma's front companies and about his business relationships with estranged associate C Edmon Allen who has levelled series of allegations against him with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
If the IT unravels that these incomes have been made and hidden by Verma from authorities, the cases of both the CBI and ED in probing these defence deals would be strengthened, sources privy to the development said.
CBI had booked Verma in a fresh case alleging that he took USD 530,000 from Rheinmetall Air Defence AG (RAD) on the promise that he would use his influence to stall blacklisting proceedings initiated by the government against it after the Ordnance Factory Board scam had surfaced.
Verma and his wife were sent to seven days CBI custody by a local court yesterday.