May 7, 2011 1:01:29 am
Alleged money-launderer and tax-evader Hasan Ali Khan spent over Rs 1.5 crore only on a luxury hotel stay as far back as 1994-1995,and was also set to purchase hotels worth hundreds of crores,a chargesheet by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against him and his associate,Kolkata-based businessman Kashinath Tapuriah,before special Judge Swapna Joshi on Friday reportedly says.
Khan is suspected to have stashed around $8 billion in Swiss bank accounts and is alleged to have transferred cash and assets out of the country through dubious means.
He is also accused of evading taxes on income,with a suspected liability of over Rs 40,000 crore. Both Khan and Tapuriah are booked under several sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
According to the sources, the chargesheet mentions Khans spending on hotel stays,including at a plush Oberoi property in Mumbai between 1994-95,and says Khan and Tapuria negotiated deals to purchase six hotels in Switzerland running into hundreds of crores.
One hotel that the chargsheet is said to name is Chateau Gutsch in Switzerland. The deal was allegedly brokered for an amount of Rs 100 crore. For this deal,Khan and Tapuriah allegedly travelled from Zurich to London in somebodys private jet.
The ED reportedly states that Khan made Rs 50 lakh selling antique jewellery belonging to the family of the Nizam of Hyderabad.
He had earned abourt Rs 40-50 lakh in cash from buying,selling of the antiques. However,he has not divulged the details of the source of the said antiques,which needs to be probed further, it says.
More rare and valuable antique jewellery remains stashed in a safe locker of UBS Bank in Zurich,it reportedly adds.
Sources said the interrogation of Khan and Tapuriah reveals that Dr Peter Weilly,the in-charge of UBS Bank,Singapore,had made it difficult for Khan to carry out his transactions,and hence an account was opened with SBC there.
The ED claims that Tapuriah,through an SBC Bank employee,helped transfer US $75 million into Khans SBC account. This money was channelised through Tapuriahs account,the chargesheet says.
The ED believes Tapuriah was used as a front for money laundering as he possessed a power of attorney to operate on behalf of Khan.