Company with a postal address in Andheri (Mumbai) tops the list of Indian bank accounts in HSBC

news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

Chitra Subramaniam and Dhanya Rajendran| Geneva-Bangalore| February 10, 2015|

The maximum amount of money associated with a client connected to India in the HSBC Bank in Geneva is some $467 million. It belongs to MoTech Software Private Limited, promoted by Reliance Industries Limited, a company with a postal and legal address in Andheri (East) in Mumbai, India’s business capital. In 2009, the company had an authorized capital of Rs. 50,000,000.

The News Minute (TNM) has reviewed some documents from #SwissLeaks which hit global headlines on Monday. They provide irrefutable documentary evidence of fraud perpetrated and promoted on a global scale by HSBC in Geneva. 

Motech 1

Bank documents which The News Minute (TNM) has seen show that three deposits in the name of three different companies were made into MoTech’s HSBC account in Geneva between 2006 and 2007. 

The three companies are Infrastructure Company Limited which deposited $ 400,000,558.00 (bank profile created on 02/06/2004, client code 5091399730), HRJ Holdings N.V which deposited $59,685,304.00 (bank profile created on 13/04/2005, client code 5091434683) and Aberdeen Enterprises N.V. which brought up the rear with $8,283,320.00 (bank profile created on 13/04/2005, client code 5091434632), totaling to $467 million. All three companies have Swiss IBAN numbers and are registered in the Netherlands Antilles.

($467 million was about Rs 2073 crores in 2006 at the then dollar rate.)

Snipped from the copy of Swiss Bank Document with TNM

MoTech is a company promoted by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). Set up by Mukesh Ambani, MoTech was run by Sandeep Tandon and Congress leader Annu Tandon. Sandeep Tandon was a former officer of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) who worked with the Enforcement Directorate looking into foreign front companies including RIL. Subsequently, he resigned from Motech as its director in 2009, a year before he passed away in Switzerland in 2010. 

According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ (MCA) filings, Annu Tandon also resigned from MoTech on January 3, 2008.
A Congress MP from Unnao in UP, Tandon did not respond to calls from TNM today. Both the Tandons – Annu and her late husband – are listed as having hefty amounts in HSBC Geneva. 

While information about the HSBC names and numbers have been doing the rounds for the past few years, SwissLeaks, an initiative of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is the first global effort to provide a comprehensive analysis of documents connecting the HSBC dots. It has brought together 154 journalists and 55 media organisations from 47 countries in a spectacular display of journalistic solidarity against tax evaders, arms dealers and drug peddlers. The ICIJ of which the Indian Express is a part posted the SwissLeaks series online on Monday. Faced with a barrage of questions, HSBC said some of its compliance and checks and balances were lax, a position most find laughable when viewed against the magnitude of the problems. 

The Indian Express reported on Monday that the number of Indians with accounts in HSBC is 1195 - double that of what was reported earlier. While not all accounts are illegal, the government of India is believed to be preparing proceedings against 60 people with undeclared money in the Alpine nation. Following the revelations in the newspaper, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said no effort will be spared to punish the guilty and there are no holy cows in this investigation. Bringing black money back to India was a high voltage campaign pitch for the current government. 

The paper has also reported about a maze of companies that are connected to RIL and the a spokesperson for RIL said: “Neither RIL nor Mr Mukesh Ambani have or had any illegitimate bank accounts anywhere in the world.”

The Swiss government has maintained that they will not act on stolen information. “The published information is already known as the HSBC stolen data and we will not consider. Since 2009 Switzerland has changed its financial market policy and is strongly committed to international standards and to fight against tax evasion,” Mario Tuor, spokesperson for Swiss Federal Department of Finance told TNM. The Indian government may now be trying to add new facts to the data in a bid to secure cooperation from the Swiss. 

It may be recalled that in 2008, Hervé Falciani a systems analyst with the HSBC in Geneva walked out with thousands of names and a larger number of documents which form the basis of what is now called SwissLeaks. Between 2006 and 2007 he collected confidential data on some 106 of the bank’s customers from over 200 countries. His list includes prominent figures from the field of business, sport, politics music as well as royalty. He has been variously called a hero and a traitor. 

The HSBC is one of the world’s largest banks and the revelations have prompted people to say this is the bank’s darkest hour. A source familiar with all the documents said up until 2012, the bank was laundering money for drug cartels. “And this is just one bank,” he said.
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TNM is not suggesting or implying that people, companies or other entities in the over 60,000 leaked documents are involved in acts of impropriety or have broken national and international laws. That task is the responsibility of national law enforcement agencies and income tax authorities.

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