All recent off-shore and intra-country transactions made purportedly by and at the behest of businessman Abhishek Verma, who is being probed along with his newly-wed Romanian wife Anca Neascu, for allegedly receiving $530,000 from the blacklisted Swiss company Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) AG, to reverse the process of blacklisting by bribing public servants, has come under the scanner of the investigating agencies.
Apart from the transaction of the amount in question between Ganton Limited USA and RAD, that took place on January 31 last year, the rest of the aspects listed in the complaint lodged by his former business associate and president of Ganton Limited USA, C. Edmonds Allen, are now being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, in coordination with the Directorate of Enforcement and the Income-Tax Department, to ascertain if the charges of money laundering and tax evasion have any ground.
In one of the complaints to the Enforcement Directorate, Mr. Allen listed the charges, alleging that Mr. Verma made illegal deposits in U.S. bearer bonds, and cash of $175,000,000, that he purportedly claimed to be his own. Accusing him of having accepted money from foreign companies for alleged favours in the Defence sector, the complaint also alleges that Mr. Verma had requested the lawyer to open accounts (bank), and a company in the United States, for a government official. It was also alleged that unaccounted-for money was channelled through Mauritius, Dubai, the United Kingdom and India.
Mr. Allen, in the complaint, also staked a claim on the reward, if the information shared by him led to seizure of the assets in question, subsequent to the investigation.
In another complaint, Mr. Allen claimed that all withdrawals from the Ganton Limited bank account were made in India through two debit cards. Purportedly at the instance of Mr. Verma, he allowed one of his dormant companies to “compensate” the Chief Operations Officer of Ganton India Private Limited, for which another account was opened, and a debit card issued. Another company was set up in 2010, purportedly for his then-fiancée, Ms. Neascu, and a separate bank account for the company was created, against which a debit card was also issued.
The lawyer also urged the Indian agencies to probe Mr. Verma's role in a purported agreement by an Israeli company, to pay him huge sums of money to influence public servants, and get an anti-dumping duty levied by the Commerce Ministry cancelled. A joint venture was also formed with another U.S.-based company, purportedly on behalf of Mr. Verma, for which a bank account was opened. It is learnt that monetary transactions made through these bank accounts would also be probed. According to a CBI official, “although we are investigating the case pertaining to RAD, all the information shared by Mr. Allen will be verified. The Enforcement Directorate and Income-Tax Department are probing the relevant aspects”.
Mr. Verma had, earlier this month, moved a city court accusing C. Edmonds Allen of cheating him of Rs. 55 crore, and forging e-mails to defame him. The court has taken cognisance of the complaint.