BJP demands probe against HSBC Bank
India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday demanded investigation against HSBC Bank that was accused of money laundering and hawala transactions in India by social activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal in his latest exposure.
"We demand that HSBC be investigated as varied versions are coming out," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said while addressing a press conference on Friday.
Attacking the Congress on the issue of black money, she said: "Congress party should face the truth and tell us what they have achieved in terms of tackling black money."
Kejriwal earlier in the day named Congress MP Anu Tandon, who is close to Rahul Gandhi, as one of the Swiss bank account holders along with names of Reliance brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani and Jet Airways owner Naresh Goyal who he claimed operated through HSBC Bank which is "facilitating hawala transactions and money laundering in India."
Kejriwal said he was tipped off by a senior Congress leader himself on this and alleged that the government instead of cracking down is trying to save the account holders.
"The government of Manmohan Singh is a threat to the country's sovereignty," he said, adding that HSBC Bank is a threat to India and it can also channelize money for terrorism in India given its illegal operations.
Demanding action against all names through an honest officer and closure of the bank in India, Kejriwal said in Dec 2006, Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani had Rs 100 crore each while Anu Tandon had Rs 125 crore.
He said President Pranab Mukherjee must answer why he said in Parliament as Finance Minister there is no MP's name in the list.
He said about 700 people have a total of Rs 6000 crore in Swiss banks and the French government in July 2011 had in a CD given the names of those 700 Indians to the Indian government, all of whom have HSBC Geneva branch accounts.
He said Unnao MP Anu Tandon, who is wife of late Income Tax officer turned Reliance top shot Sandeep Tandon, has Rs 125 crores. He said Rs 2100 crores of Motech Software run by them and Reliance group of Mukesh Ambani is parked in Swiss accounts.
Kejriwal said Jet Airways honcho Naresh Goyal had Rs 80 crores in the account in 2006.
Yashovardhan Birla too had an account but in Dec 2006 it has no balance.
He said Dabur group also has Rs 25 crore in Swiss bank.
IAC said the present CBI Director once said that more than USD 500 billion of Indian black money was stashed abroad.
"A major chunk of this money is believed to be lying in Swiss banks in Switzerland. Would this money every come back to India? Developments of the last few years have given a ray of hope that if Indian Government acted tough like its US counterpart did a few years back, India also might get access to the list of those having their undeclared accounts abroad. However, Indian government seems to be more interested in helping the guilty rather than punishing them," said IAC.
"The money stashed in Swiss banks can be repatriated but it won't happen owing to the government which is hand in glove with the account holders and compromising economic sovereignty," said Kejriwal.
Kejriwal said Pranab Mukherjee had made a full scheme to save these 700 Swiss accounts holders.
Kejriwal said Sandeep Tandon had as an Income Tax officer raided Reliance and then started working for them. Tandon was also in Enforcement Directorate.
"Anu Tandon is core group member of Rahul Gandhi. No one knows whose money it is that they have in Swiss bank," said Kejriwal, pointing out the proximity of Rahul Gandhi and Anu Tandon.
"Pranab Mukherjee had said there was no MP in the list that has come. But Anu Tandon is an MP," said Arvind Kejriwal.
He accused Pranab Mukherjee of stalling raids on the Ambanis.
Kejriwal also slammed HSBC Bank for engaging in hawala transactions.
"If someone from Pakistan wants to send money to India for terrorism, HSBC can do it for them," said Kejriwal.
"They can open account for you in Geneva here itself and you need not go there," he said.
Kejriwal said on July 28 2011, the Income Tax (IT) Department raided three people in Delhi based on this list and they had all admitted in written statements how HSBC could open Swiss account for anyone right here in India within a day.
He said if the Indian government wants, it can stop operations of HSBC and their top officers can be arrested and they can get all the names of Swiss bank account holders.
He said top officers of HSBC should be arrested because they have made India vulnerable to drugs and terror.
"All HSBC operations in India should be suspended," he said.
He urged all 32,000 employees of HSBC to resign from their jobs.
Kejriwal said the UBS bank had shared a list of account holders with the US government earlier and if the Indian government wants HSBC and UBS operations in India can be stopped and their top shots arrested.
Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan said crony in India it is crony capitalism at its worst and the entire exercise is also blatant violation of FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) laws.
Earlier, India Against Corruption (IAC) led by Kejriwal made a scathing attack on both the Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by "exposing" what it called the pandering of the governments led by both parties before corporates like Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) which dictated terms in distribution and pricing of resources like natural gas.
IAC said Mukesh Ambani was forcing the UPA government to hike gas prices while honest Congress ministers like Mani Shankar Aiyar and S Jaipal Reddy of Congress were shifted out of the petroleum and natural gas ministries because they had stood up to Reliance pressures.
Kejriwal said BJP too is in the pocket of Ambani since in 2002, KG basin contract was given in a faulty way to Reliance by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.