VVIP chopper fraud: Private trainers shareholders, cash additionally from different offers

Written by Ritu Sarin
| New Delhi |

November 19, 2020 4:29:25 am

Throughout questioning on August 18, 2019, Saxena described how, following the arrest of his spouse Shivani Saxena by the ED in July 2017, he held discussions with Ratul Puri “concerning the necessity to switch the possession of (his firm) Matrix Rising Infrastructure Fund Ltd”.

From trying a cover-up after authorities opened a probe to floating a brand new firm together with his private trainers as shareholders to laundering of proceeds from different defence offers — these are among the many admissions made, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claims, by chartered accountant Rajiv Saxena, key accused within the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, throughout questioning.

Presently on bail, Saxena was extradited from Dubai in January 2019 and was interrogated by the ED which hooked up his property price Rs 385 crore, describing them as “proceeds of crime”. The ED has now filed an enchantment in a bid to divest Saxena of his approver standing for allegedly not totally disclosing the information of the case.

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Whereas attaching his property, together with a villa in Dubai and 5 Swiss Financial institution accounts, the ED claimed: “Rajiv Saxena has admitted to laundering the proceeds of crime not solely of AgustaWestland deal but in addition varied different defence offers.”

Within the over 1,000 pages of interrogation stories, accessed by The Indian Express, Saxena repeatedly claimed that until the probe started, he was unaware that funds parked by him or routed to him by defence supplier Sushen Mohan Gupta, and Ratul Puri, nephew of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, and advocate Gautam Khaitan have been linked to payoffs within the AgustaWestland deal.
However Saxena did inform his ED interrogators about an tried cover-up after the AgustaWestland probe started.

Throughout questioning on August 18, 2019, Saxena described how, following the arrest of his spouse Shivani Saxena by the ED in July 2017, he held discussions with Ratul Puri “concerning the necessity to switch the possession of (his firm) Matrix Rising Infrastructure Fund Ltd”. He claimed Puri agreed with this determination and accordingly, a brand new firm, Arboles, was included by his workplace.

The shareholders of this new entity have been two private trainers of Saxena who he additionally stated have been shut associates. “The shares of Matrix Rising Infrastructure Fund held by Matrix Group (his flagship firm) have been transferred to this newly fashioned firm, M/s Arboles Investments Ltd. No consideration was exchanged throughout this switch of shares because the useful proprietor remained Ratul Puri,” Saxena informed ED.

He stated legal professionals had “pressured” him to solely reply to ED questions on the AgustaWestland deal and nothing else. He claimed Puri and an accountant additionally visited him in Dubai for this function. “The particular function of them visiting me was as a result of I used to be insisting that Ratul Puri clarifies the remittances acquired in my corporations, Eurotrade, Pacific Worldwide FZC, Midas Metals Worldwide and Metolix Restricted from International Companies on his account as I used to be being questioned by the Directorate about these transactions,” he stated.

Based on Saxena, Puri initially denied utilizing International Companies FZE to ship these remittances to him however when “confronted” by his accountant with documentary proof, he conceded that “these transactions have been carried out by his hawala operators. He (Puri) additionally directed me to not disclose the identical to the Enforcement Directorate”.

Saxena has handed over voluminous paperwork to the ED — the topic listing alone runs into 10 pages and explains why he was given approver standing by the company.

For example, there are checking account particulars and financial institution statements of dozens of offshore corporations, lots of which determine within the AgustaWestland investigation. Different paperwork embrace notes on funds to Gautam Khaitan; the listing of shoppers of Khaitan; copies of agreements between UHY Saxena (Saxena’s firm) with Thales Worldwide; paperwork for switch of shares of Interstellar Holdings to Saxena); diaries and handwritten notes of Sushen Mohan Gupta exhibiting funds to IDS and Interstellar; IDS assertion of accounts signed by Gupta exhibiting receipts and funds; particulars of remittances acquired from International Companies FZE.

The small print submitted additionally embrace statements of supplementary bank cards which Saxena obtained issued from his bankers in Switzerland for the “private bills” of Ratul Puri. The paperwork include queries raised by the financial institution, Coutts & Co, on giant transactions they thought-about “doubtful”.

Throughout his interrogation, Saxena informed the ED: “Ratul Puri had this card issued by me in his title to keep away from disclosure of those bills in India. Funding for these prices incurred by him can be compensated by remittances by third events.”

Interrogation transcripts additionally reveal the character of the findings throughout an ED search of the premises of Niamat Bakshi, shut confidante of Ratul Puri, on September 7, 2019. E mail dumps recovered in the course of the search had not been submitted by Saxena to the ED.

Questioned about transactions in these, Saxena admitted to the existence of a number of different offshore entities which he had been “managing” for Puri as Useful Proprietor. He named the businesses as Continental Administration Companies Ltd; Technic Commerce; Maxima Software program Pvt Ltd; Questside Administration Restricted; Bronson Monetary Inc.

There are additionally over 200 pages of particulars and agreements on the switch of registered possession of an umbrella of offshore corporations, largely included in Mauritius, with the title of Pangea to that of a Saxena firm. This was as a result of the Swiss nominee shareholder of the entity had handed away and Saxena was requested to do a “holding operation’’ on behalf of Puri and his household.

Saxena informed the ED that the entities concerned within the switch of Pangea registered possession have been Mountwood Basis, Simlane Basis, Cavendish Ventures Restricted, Techstone Restricted, Hendon International Restricted and Bronson Monetary Companies. E mail exchanges for transfers to a few of these entities have been those discovered in the course of the ED search of Niamat Bakshi’s premises.

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