Mumbai, Mar 24: Kolkata-based businessman Kashinath Tapuria, an "advisor" to stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, was today remanded in the Enforcement Directorate's custody till March 30 after he was arrested on money laundering charges.
Tapuria, arrested this morning after three days of questioning, was produced before Principal Judge of the Sessions Court S S Joshi who gave his remand to the ED for custodial interrogation.
In its remand application, the ED said searches at the residence of Tapuria led to recovery of several incriminating documents, including those related to transfer instructions from Khan's accounts to various other accounts and copies of his correspondence with UBS bank officials.
"Searches also resulted in recovery of orginal documents indicating transactions of Hasan Ali Khan and Tapuria are also under investigation by a foreign investigating agency," the application said.
According to ED, Khan in his statement said he had applied for a passport in 1997 on the instructions of Tapuria and a second passport was acquired in spite of the existing one being in court's custody.
The second passport was used to travel to Singapore via Kathmandu along with Tapuria and Amalendu Pandey, an associate of the Kolkata businessman, to open an account in SBC Singapore. The residence of Pandey, an AICC member from Bihar, was raided by the ED yesterday, apparently in connection with the passport obtained from Patna through forged documents.
The ED claimed Khan had revealed that arrangements for opening an account in Singapore were made by Tapuria. After opening the account in SBC Singapore, Khan executed the power of attorney in Tapuria's name to enable him operate it.
"Tapuria in his statement has confirmed he traveled with Khan and Pandey to Singapore and was aware that Khan was travelling on a second passport when his first passport was in the court's custody," the ED said.
The I-T department has raised a tax demand of Rs 591 crore against Tapuria and Rs 20,540 crore against his wife Chandrika.
Khan, 53, was arrested by the agency on charges of stashing huge amounts of black money in banks abroad and is also facing a Rs 70,000-crore tax demand notice from the Income Tax department.
ED also said Tapuria assisted Khan in acquiring the second passport from Mumbai regional passport office.
The ED claimed Khan had revealed during interrogation that arrangements for opening an account in Singapore were made by Tapuria. After opening the account in SBC Singapore, Khan had executed the power of attorney in Tapuria's name to enable him operate it.
"Tapuria in his statement has confirmed that he travelled with Khan and Pandey to Singapore and was aware that Khan was travelling on a second passport when his first passport was in the court's custody," the ED said.
ED also said that Tapuria assisted Khan in acquiring another passport from Mumbai regional passport office.
"Thus Tapuria actively assisted Khan to acquire a second passport and accompanied Khan to Singapore clandestinely using the second passport to open an account in SBC Singapore which was subsequently used for money laundering," the remand application said.
According to ED, the statements recorded under Prevention of Money Laundering Act have revealed transactions of substantial amounts by Tapuria through Khan's SBC account. The ED also said that Tapuria used to pay for Khan's tickets and stays abroad to facilitate his acts of money laundering.
"There is evidence that Tapuria travelled with Khan to Switzerland, London, Dubai, Singapore and other countries to facilitate the money laundering activities of Khan".
ED said, Khan had revealed that Tapuria is the "beneficial owner" of M/s Paysons and M/s Autumn Holding having accounts in UBS and Standard Chartered Bank.
"As per the statements of Khan, who is the authorized signatory in these companies, substantial amount is stacked in these accounts which has been generated by indulging in criminal activities (undervaluation in the import of machines by Indian companies)".
Tapuria had admitted he and Khan had prepared the notarised documents that refer to the links the Pune-based stud farm owner had with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, ED said. "Tapuria has been shown as advisor to Khan in this document."
"Tapuria has repeatedly stated Khan was having links with Khashoggi and admitted that he was helping Khan to get hold of this money linked to Adnan Khashoggi," ED said. PTI