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Updated: February 27, 2012 17:23 IST

ISI-linked businessman claimed the financial backing of mystery Indian political family

Praveen Swami
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Mansoor Ijaz, a controversial Pakistani-American businessman with links to the ISI Directorate, raised over $1.5 million from a San Marino bank by claiming to have the backing of a politically-influential Indian business family court documents available with The Hindu show.
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Mansoor Ijaz, a controversial Pakistani-American businessman with links to the ISI Directorate, raised over $1.5 million from a San Marino bank by claiming to have the backing of a politically-influential Indian business family court documents available with The Hindu show.

Mansoor Ijaz, architect of Pakistan political crisis, told bankers he received $60 million from family's Swiss bank holdings

Mansoor Ijaz, a controversial Pakistani-American businessman with links to the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, raised over $1.5 million from a San Marino bank by claiming to have the backing of a politically-influential Indian business family, court documents available with The Hindu show.

Mr. Ijaz made the claims in a March 10, 2008 letter to Banca Sammarinese di Investimento SPA, as he fought for time to repay loans taken the previous year. The letter is among documents filed before the New York Supreme Court in September 2010, after BSI sued the businessman.

Late last year, Mr. Ijaz provoked a crisis in Pakistani politics after making public the contents of a secret memo calling on the United States to help the civilian government sack key military commanders. He claimed the memo had been authored by the country's Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani.

In his letter to BSI, Mr. Ijaz promised he had secured $50 million from a “large Indian family that has real estate investments around the world, including over 40 apartment units in Las Vegas' newest condominium towers [as well as] Dubai and India.” “The head of the family,” he went on, “is an important political personality from the State, where the family resides”.

“The investor's funds,” Mr. Ijaz asserted, “are resident in Switzerland, and we are presently going through the necessary due diligence work”.

In addition, he said, “the same investor, due to its close ties with Tata Motors, has chosen to invest $10,000,000 in our planned launch of a company to develop the world's most energy-efficient powertrains”.

“The Indian family,” Mr. Ijaz told The Hindu, “was one of the big ones — I'm not at liberty to say.” He however said the family had only planned an investment in “in my Aquarius Towers project for Las Vegas, not the powertrain deal —that was all American investors in which I invested my share using my pledged collateral to borrow the funds from BSI.”

Mr. Ijaz, in his letter, claims contracts had been signed for both deals in February 2008. He told the bank he would provide further details after a visit to India scheduled for late March that year. “Much hard work,” he wrote in a message to BSI's directors citing temporary business reverses for his default, “has gone into correcting the situation, above all to protect my political reputation and future role in American politics.”

Tata Motors denies that it has had any dealings with Mr. Ijaz or EcoDrive, and there is no public-domain information available to suggest the businessman ever in fact began work on powertrains. Inquiries with immigration authorities in Mumbai also threw up no evidence that Mr. Ijaz had visited India during that time.

In filings before a New York court, BSI claimed Mr. Ijaz used funds it had advanced to his Ijaz Group and Aquarius companies “for his personal needs, including payment of mortgages and brokerage account fees, and used said lines of credit after his personal line of credit had reached its limit.” In addition, it alleged, “Aquarius never entered into any contracts, nor did it have any employees … [or] file tax returns.”

In a September 25, 2010 judgment, judge Charles Ramos ruled in favour of BSI, and Mr. Ijaz agreed to settle by repaying the bank $1.74 million. Peter Kurchen, the bank's attorney, says he is yet to do so. “Given that he has not voluntarily satisfied the judgment in the past two years we are forced to commence enforcement action,” he said.

The head of this 'political family' also has invested in real estate in
India and was named in 2008 as well. The daughter, SS, manages the real
estate work and they have so far managed to keep the media guys in their
pocket. They are the primary beneficiaries in 8 of the top 10 scams
unearthed in India.

from:  Satish Krishnan
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 17:48 IST

@ Umang, for God's sake stop trying to tutor the newspaper on how to
write. You got the point right? that's the reason why you went on to
correct it. Look at the content instead, and stop complaining on what
Hindu used to be or what Hindu is today, Times have changed! And its
time you should too, nobody plays by the rules!

from:  Karl
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 17:14 IST

The title of this News does not go well withe established tradition. It smacks of unfair criticism. The ethics are thrown into dustpin and imagination runs riot with some established families. Ulterior motives may be attributed with the scam trends prevailing in India. Before the spacecraft was launched loss was estimated for more than one lakh crores.S uch activism emerged only in India. Your esteemed paper should not be a party to petty low level Politics

from:  asokan a
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 20:57 IST

The sanctity of Freedom of speech is sullied by uncorroborated and skewed news as done by Mr Ijaz to sow the seed of mistrust and unhealthy environment. Media become one of the most powerful tools for such purpose. It can balloon an ant into an elephant, at the same time can turn elephant into a tiny creature. No good citizens should be pulled around and fool of easily that can lead to a chaotic situation in a peaceful democratic environment like India. However, the charges as cited by Mr. Ijaz should be look into seriously and proper action in accordance with the laws of the land should be taken if corroborated to avoid recurrence.

from:  Hejang Misao
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 19:44 IST

Once again the memo gate has found a way of funding from India and that
too from a political head of party( yet it is not clear the
name).They say that the amount was for funding an industry but who knows
that it may have used for funding the terrorist working day and night to
disturb our sovereignty and integrity.

Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 18:55 IST

Interesting to speculate about the political family.

The family is a politically influential business family. That family
is into real estate business in Dubai & Las Vegas. The head is an
important political personality in the State where the family resides.
Moreover, it's a "large" family. 60 million $ to a Pakistani
businessman, with family having real estate ties to companies in
Dubai, Las Vegas, India, etc.

I'm guessing it must be a family related to a political party from
south of India, but that's as good as any guess. Interesting

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 18:40 IST

I will not be surprised if the powerful political family is from either
Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh.

from:  Chandrakant Marathe
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 17:56 IST

Need international cooperation in investigating this allegation of Indian business family and that having political influence send confusion amog business communities. And most of the business families having connections and network with political parties and its natural across the world those business empires maintain good and cordial relationships with political parties on the basis of give and take policy. In this incident more investigation only can able to deliver facts and which family or business personality who is made chargers.

Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 15:38 IST

Can someone please explain this case clearly to me

from:  charitha
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 14:57 IST

Seems like there's a smoking gun here and the TV channels have chosen to ignore it. Why?

from:  Shrinivas
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 13:52 IST

So who is this family feeding a rat? Why is there any sympathy for the rat?

Why are the banks giving arbitrary loans?

from:  Anon anon
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 13:41 IST

This is a clear case of the functioning of comprador bourgeoisie. It ensures capital flow from hand to hand of business tycoons across the globe.

from:  Sajan
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 13:32 IST

What difference does that make. This 'nobody' guy has no credibility and certainly doesn't deserve to have so much words and time wasted on him!!

from:  Rubab
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 12:52 IST

I understand that Mr. Ijaz hasn't come to India (Inquiries with immigration authorities). He mentioned 'had only planned an investment in “in my Aquarius Towers project ...'. BSI claimed Mr. Ijaz used funds it had advanced to his Ijaz Group and Aquarius companies “for his personal needs...". His conflicts with his own statement on power train deal. We are trying to connect some random points and throw mud over our country - Great. The headline is clearly misleading.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 12:20 IST

As TATA Mototr's name has been surfaced in this scandal, i must say that this whole case should be dealt with particular heed, because this issue has enough potential to damage the reputation of TATA Motors not only in India but also in Abroad.

from:  pankaj
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 12:00 IST

Ijaz doesn't seem to epitomize honesty or truth with all his dealings.

from:  eric samson
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 11:44 IST

This is in response to above comments from P.N.Shreeniwas.

Read the article properly. It is simple English. There is no mention of Tata family. It mentions Politically connected Investor whose close ties with Tata Motors (not Tata group) to assist in their proposed powertarin co ( possibly due to their knowhow). These Paki's are probably scared of Indians becoming world leaders by acquiring all types industries.

from:  Venugopal
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 11:20 IST

Please investigate further similar to ISRO S-band scandal as done in your respected newspaper.
I feel lot of murkey deals involving many strategic government organisations would slowly come out!

from:  Atis
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 10:56 IST

The headline mentions "Indian political family", whereas the article
talks about "a politically-influential Indian business family". After
reading the headline one gets the impression that a powerful Political
family, which are not too many in Indian politics, is being referred to.
You are requested to make necessary changes to the headline.

from:  Deepak B.
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 10:52 IST

What is the point? What difference does it make?

from:  Pramod Athani
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 10:50 IST

I thought all the TV channels will be full of this as 'BREAKING NEWS'.
But they seem to be silent!

Perhaps they see no story in this ?

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 10:46 IST

If this is true TATA family is not all that squeaky clean as it is cracked up to be. For
decades they were riding on that white horse of purity. Radia tapes and the gaffe that
followed told much. It is only when politicians and businessmen make a gaffe they
say the truth, unwittingly and unintentionally. Media should encourage these people
to make more gaffes.

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 09:40 IST

If true, the broad details of the allegations made by Mansoor Ijaz can
be a major embarrassment to India. In that, it will imply India's
meddling in the internal affairs of Pakistan. Let it be very clearly
understood, that India does not harbour any such evil designs.
Furthermore, we are completely bankrupt of any ideas or facilities -
which will engender such interference. Till recently, Islamabad had
been crying hoarse protesting New Delhi's fishing in the troubled
waters of Balochistan ( sadly , at one point of time even PM Dr.
Manmohan Singh while in Egypt, agreed to include this issue in the New
Delhi - Islamabad bilateral talks )Pakistan , fortunately, has now
begun to realize that the insurgency in Balochistan is not so much due
to India poking its nose in that region but is being foisted by its
own people, who are victims of exploitation and discrimination. If
Pakistan attempts to capitaize, from the unfounded allegations of
Mr.Izaj. India must take strong objection to it.

from:  V.B.N.Ram
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 08:16 IST

It is about 250 Crores. For such a "small" amount the said guy of the
family must be from a Panchayat office or Municipal office. Had it been
any politician, he would have offered thousands of crores!!

from:  Siva
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 07:01 IST

There is a grammatical mistake in the description. It says "Mansoor
Ijaz, architect of Pakistan political crisis, ...". It should be
either of the following:

1.) Mansoor Ijaz, architect of Pakistan's political crisis,

2.) Mansoor Ijaz, architect of the Pakistani political crisis,

Also, which crisis the sentence refers to is unclear. Therefore, you
should correct it to:

Mansoor Ijaz, architect of Pakistan's current political crisis,

The Hindu usually holds better standards of grammar.

from:  Umang
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 05:49 IST

In the interest of probity in public life,which the political class in our country is lacking,Mr Ijaz should name the political family so that law in india can take its course

from:  v n ramachandran
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 05:21 IST

What is your point? That someone, somewhere lied to get a loan? Not
likely. That an Indian family was mentioned in this lie? Why not dig
a bit deeper before you rush to publish?

from:  James Gurung
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 04:28 IST

There is more to Mr.Mansoor Ijaz, than 'meets the eye'!! We hope Mr. Praveen Swami will continue to give us more details as events unfold.

Praveen Swami is the top investigative reporter, not merely in India, but the world - I say that as a reader of several news papers around the world. He is thorough and factual.

I hope he publishes more analytical columns too, not merely news copy.

from:  K.Murthy
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 04:17 IST
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