Companies

AAP questions Reliance on ₹6,500-cr investment by two Singapore firms

Our Bureaus New Delhi/Mumbai | Updated on March 13, 2018 Published on February 27, 2014

Prashant Bhushan

Alleges UPA Govt ‘ignored” probe request by High Commission in 2011

Contesting the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) statement that it does not have any illegal money stashed away in foreign shores, senior lawyer and AAP leader Prashant Bhushan on Thursday blamed the UPA Government for ignoring a probe request by the High Commission in Singapore three years ago.

Releasing copies of a letter written in August 2011 by the Indian High Commission in Singapore, Bhushan alleged that ₹6,530 crore had been invested into four RIL group companies by Bio Metrix Marketing and Strasbourg Holdings in Singapore.

The former is a “one-room company that does not do any business” and nor does it have any assets, equity and “files no tax returns in Singapore”, says the letter.

“The High Commission had stated that all this money has gone into Reliance (Industries) group of companies in India with the major chunk going to Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd, which is a company 100 per cent owned by Mukesh Ambani personally,” an AAP statement said. The Singapore company, owned by one Atul Shanti Kumar Dayal, has since closed, Bhushan said.

Seeks probe

The letter sought a probe into the “largest FDI from Singapore to India” as well as the fact that “the equity of both the investing companies (Bio Metrix and Strabourg Holdings) from Singapore is very small compared to the amount invested.”

“It is highly probable that the amounts may have been shown as creditors/loans raised from Singapore or from other countries, mostly tax havens, to form a circuitous route.

“Ultimately, the source needs to be ascertained,” it added.

Bhushan said: “Reliance needs to answer whose money is this and where did it come from.”

Our Mumbai Bureau reports

Reacting to the charge, RIL, in a statement on Thursday, said the allegations relating to Biometrix are highly defamatory, completely false and baseless, and that they are being repeatedly made in the media and in judicial proceedings despite the fact that the company has responded to the charges.

The investments by Biometrix were open, transparent and perfectly legitimate transactions in full compliance with the extant regulations, RIL said. It added that the investments in the Indian companies were made by Biometrix out of loans raised from ICICI Bank, Singapore branch and that ICICI Bank has confirmed this to the regulators.

‘No substance’

Claiming that the allegations made by Bhushan have been previously made in judicial proceedings in the Delhi High Court and have been appropriately responded to, the company denied that its legal advisor Atul Dayal was either the owner or director of Biometrix as alleged.

“Regulatory authorities have fully investigated the matter and have found no substance in the allegations of money laundering.

“The insinuation that this money was from ‘gold plating’ from KG-D6 is completely irresponsible and false,’’ the company’s statement added.

Published on February 27, 2014

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