ICICI and Reliance are involved in Money Laundering, 6500Cr frm Singapore. Prashant Bhushan writes to SIT on Black Money.
Dated: July 08, 2014
Shri M L Meena
SIT on Black Money
Room No. 46, Dept of Revenue
Ministry of Finance, New Delhi
Sub: Complaint of huge money laundering and siphoning of Rs 6500 crores
I am writing this complaint to the SIT on black money constituted pursuant to the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. This complaint is regarding the huge money laundering and siphoning of money involving India’s biggest corporate group (RIL) and India’s largest private sector bank (ICICI) that the SIT ought to investigate and prosecute.
We all know that there have been two detailed CAG reports that Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is involved in inflation of capital expenditure, over invoicing and siphoning of money from the KG Basin D6 Block. There is a clear suspicion that such amounts are being laundered and funneled back into Reliance companies.
In this light, an alarming letter was written by the Indian High Commission in Singapore on 31st August 2011. The High Commission had stated that Rs 6530 crores have come into India from Bio Metrix Marketing Ltd., a one room company in Singapore that does not do any business. It was pointed out that this is a company with no assets, no equity and does not file an income tax returns in Singapore claiming to be a small company. Yet, this huge investment by this company of Rs 6530 crores is the single biggest FDI into India from Singapore.
The High Commission had stated that all this money has gone into Reliance group of companies in India with the major chunk going to RelianceGas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd which is a company 100% owned by Mr. Mukesh Ambani personally. A copy of the letter sent by the Indian High Commission in Singapore is annexed as Annexure A.
The Commission had pointed out that one Mr. Atul Shanti Kumar Dayal effectively owns this company Bio Metrix. Mr. Dayal is nothing but a front for Reliance since he is a Director in 32 Reliance group companies. Profile of Mr. Dayal is annexed as Annexure B. Now it has come to light that this company BioMetrix has closed down (Annexure C).
Thus it became absolutely clear that Reliance is laundering its ill-gotten profits from KG Basin through Singapore and depositing the same into accounts of Mr. Mukesh Ambani.
On 27th February, I had released to the media the above referred letter written by the Indian High Commission in Singapore. Pursuant to the press conference held by me, Reliance immediately went on the defensive and issued a press statement.
According to several media reports, Reliance stated: “These investments in the Indian companies were made by Biometrix out of loans raised from ICICI Bank, Singapore branch.” The ICICI bank did not issue any denial to the press statement issued by Reliance.
This Reliance statement raises more questions than it answers. The ICICI bank had given a loan of thousands of crores to a company with no equity, no assets and no business. What was the collateral or security taken by the ICICI bank before issuing such a huge loan? What was the due diligence done by the ICICI bank before issuing this loan?
The bank does not give any small loan to an ordinary person, even for purchasing a car or house, without proper security and documentation. But who sanctioned the Rs 6530 crores of loan to this company with no business? Has the loan been returned by Biometrix to the ICICI bank? Now this company Biomentrix has closed down. So how will the bank recover this loan?
Under the international conventions on money laundering, the duty is put on the financial institutions to observe due diligence and transparency to prevent money laundering. It is also the duty of the Government to investigate all such transactions. The question therefore arises, was the ICICI bank an accomplice in the money laundering operation carried out by Reliance?
The Government of India has just sat over these facts for the about three years now. The Government has not bothered to investigate this case of money laundering perhaps because powerful entities like Reliance and ICICI bank are involved.
Therefore, I request you to investigate this case thoroughly. Kindly acknowledge the receipt of this letter and inform me the action the SIT would take in this matter.
I would also like to meet the SIT personally to make my suggestions about what needs to be done to deal with the issue of illicit and laundered money. I had earlier on 23rd Jule 2014 sent a letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was also sent to the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the SIT.
1. Justice M. B. Shah
2. Justice Arijit Pasayat
Vice Chairperson, SIT