In a blistering attack against the Congress party, the BJP today alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust received donations from individuals accused under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The donations to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was no co-incidence, but a conspiracy.— BJP (@BJP4India) August 31, 2020
The first revelation is on Mehul Choksi, who had donated to the RGF, who was involved in the Punjab National Bank fraud case: Dr @sambitswaraj pic.twitter.com/B3s1r4zohc
Speaking at a press briefer, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that money laundered by entities and individuals with questionable integrity such as Mehul Choksi, Rana Kapoor, Jignesh Shah, Zakir Naik and GVK group found its way to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.
Economic offender Mehul Choksi made donations to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and RG Charitable Trust
Alleging that the donations to RGF and RG Charitable Trust were not mere co-incidences but a part of larger conspiracy, Patra asserted that known offender Mehul Choksi, involved in Punjab National Bank fraud, donated an amount of Rs 10 lakhs from M/s Naviraj Estates Pvt. Ltd., a paper company of Gitanjali Group, beneficially owned by Mehul Choksi.
M/s Naviraj Estates Pvt. Ltd. was one of the companies through which Choksi routed the proceeds of the crime from money laundering activities. It was beneficially owned, controlled and managed by Mr. Mehul Choksi by allotting 99.99% shares of the company to his son Rohan Choksi. Mehul Choksi was one of the Directors of the company.
Patra stated that Rs 47.78 crore and Rs. 24.45 lakh was transferred to this paper company, having no business activity during FY 2013-14 and 2011-12 by M/s Gitanjali Infratech Pvt. Ltd. and Mehul Choksi respectively. Out of these funds, an amount of Rs 10 lakh was transferred Rajiv Gandhi Foundation from the account at M/s Naviraj Estates Pvt. Ltd. vide Cheque no. 676400 on 29.08.2014.
Yes Bank’s Rana Kapoor diverted bank’s funds to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
Furthermore, Sambit claimed that Rana Kapoor transferred an amount of Rs 9.45 lakhs from Yes Bank to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. He added that this was not Rana Kapoor’s personal money but it was transferred from Yes Bank.
Earlier, Rana Kapoor had also allegedly transferred Rs 2 crore from Yes Bank to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for buying a painting during 2010-2012.
Rana Kapoor had been accused of not only according to illegal favours to several persons/ entities by the method of diverting the fund of YES Bank, which later turned out to become NPA, but was also allegedly involved in money laundering activities of the kickbacks received by him.
Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust received proceeds of crime under PMLA from FTIL and Jignesh Shah: Sambit Patra
Another accused named by Sambit Patra in the BJP presser was Jignesh Shah, infamous for NSEL scam. A case is currently underway against Financial Technologies India Ltd.(FTIL) and its management headed by Shah for generating proceeds of crime of Rs 5600 crores in the National Spot Exchange Ltd. scam.
Patra had alleged that a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs, out of the proceeds of crime earned by FTIL and Shah, were donated to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust on 27.10.2011.
Hate-speech peddler Zakir Naik donated to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust
The BJP spokesperson further mentioned that controversial hate-speech peddler Zakir Naik has also been a donor to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust. Patra claimed that Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), an accused under the PMLA, had donated Rs. 50 lakh on 08.07.2011 to the Trust from its DCB Bank account.
It was later found that Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust had donated an amount of Rs 50 lakhs to IRF on 12.07.2016 from a different bank account.
According to Patra, proceeds of crime of Rs. 193.06 crore was generated and was laundered in violation of the PMLA provisions by Zakir Nark and organisations managed by him namely Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and M/s Harmony Media Pvt. Ltd. Naik had reportedly received an amount of Rs 49.20 crore while his controlled organisations IRF and Harmony Media Pvt. ltd. had received proceeds of crime of Rs 64.86 crores and Rs 79 crores respectively from 2003-04 to 2016-17.