Appu Esthose and Suresh Ritu Sarin profile the new set of Indians found to have invested in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
ANAND K PANDIT
A diamond merchant,Pandit was a director on the board of Bank of Maharashtra when he floated Marvelous Wealth Offshore Ltd in the BVI in February 2008. He quit as director of Bank of Maharashtra in July 2012 and went on to become a director on the board of Syndicate Bank. Mr Anand Pandit is not having any interest in the said company,his spokesperson said in response to queries from The Indian Express. Therefore the other queries listed are not relevant.
SURENDRA KUMAR JAIN
Jain was a key accused in the Jain hawala case of the mid-1990s which collapsed for want of evidence. The CBI had claimed it had details of the alleged secret accounts maintained by Jain but could not conclusively prove a quid pro quo or the money trail. Jain,his wife Poonam and daughter Geetika are listed as âbeneficiary owners of BVI firm Armoric Management Pte Ltd which was registered in July 2007. His family said he was out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
Nagpal and his firm Padmini Financial Services Ltd were suspected of wrongdoing in the stock market manipulation scandal involving stock broker Ketan Parekh more than a decade back. In February 2007,Sebi banned Nagpal from operating in the stock markets for five years. Months earlier,Nagpal and his wife Aarti,also a director in Padmini Financial,floated Grand Accent Overseas Ltd in the BVI in June 2006. Nagpal was not available for comment.
SADEEV SINGH SANDHU
A financial consultant,Sandhu was found guilty of non-compliance of Sebi’s takeover rules in April 2008. Subsequently,his company Kausar India Ltd was placed on a watchlist by Sebi and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. In January 2009,Sandhu floated Melway Investments Ltd in the BVI. Sandhu,who happens to be the brother of former Intelligence Bureau chief and current deputy National Scurity Adviser Nehchal Sandhu,denied any link to Melway. âI donât know about any such firm,certainly not in my name,â he said.
Vidur Bharadwaj,Nirmal Singh and Surpreet Singh Suri,promoters of 3C Developers,started Odessa Group International Ltd in the BVI in October 2007. But a company spokesperson said Odessa was inoperative.M/s Odessa Group was completely inoperative and no operations of any kind were undertaken when this company was existing and we have no links with it,the spokesperson said.
A promoter of real estate firm BPTP Developers,Chawla floated BVI firm Green Point Trust in July 2009. He declined to respond to queries sent to him.
Shah,a promoter of real estate firm Parinee Group,started Next Point International Ltd in the BVI in August 2006. He said the company âmust have been part of corporate restructuring,but fully compliant with laws.
A prominent Singapore-based NRI businessman and promoter of Universal Success Enterprise,Prasoon Mukherjee incorporated BuzConnect Universal Ltd in the BVI in July 2007. Universal is estimated to have invested $25 billion in India’s energy sector and has a presence in West Bengal,Maharashtra and Gujarat. He did not respond to queries.
Lamba is the CEO of fast-growing FMCG firm Kwality Group which is into food products,including the popular ice cream of the same name,and restaurants. Lamba registered Blackrose Holdings Inc in the BVI in December 2007. He did not respond to queries.
Presently the CEO of Mahindra Club & Resorts,Sawhney was a part of the core team that built the telecom business of Hutchison in India and was also closely involved with the telecom business of Essar Group in India and Africa. Sawhney was also a director in Loop Telecom Ltd and Loop Mobile (India) Ltd. He floated BVI firm Brookwood Worldwide Ltd in August 2007. The company was there at a point when I was not living in India. And it ceased to exist when I moved in here,â he told The Indian Express.
The CEO of Religare. Nath is also a director in 30 companies,mostly subsidiaries of Religare Enterprise Ltd. Nath registered his BVI firm Medical Management Company Ltd (MMCL) in October 2009. âMMCL was not incorporated by Religare or any of its management team members. Religare acquired Hichens,Harrison & Co. Plc in May 2008âHowever,Religare subsequently divested its entire stake in MMCL… Mr Shachindra Nath resigned as a director from the board of MMCL in October 2009,â a Religare spokesperson said on behalf of Nath.
Bansal is a director on the board of Liberty Shoes Ltd,a Rs 600 crore company. His family is among the promoters of the group. Bansal registered BVI firm Imax Investment Worldwide Ltd in January 2005. Mr Vivek Bansal is on the board of Liberty Shoes Ltd as an independent director and he has neither any stake in the company nor any pecuniary relationship with the company or its promotersâas per the information shared by Mr Vivek Bansal with the company,he is not having any directorship or association with the entities mentioned,Liberty said in a statement.
A senior executive with Bharti Airtel India Ltd,Swaroop moved to India recently to works as executive director with Indiaâs largest cellular phone service provider. When he was posted as CEO and managing director of Airtel Nigeria,he floated Anacool International Ltd in the BVI in April 2008. A long time back,I was hoping to start some service business,which did not materialize. So the company is defunct ever since,he said,adding that he did not report it to the RBI or income tax authorities since there were no transactions.