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Arvind Kejriwal targets HSBC, Ambani brothers over black money

Friday, 9 November 2012 - 4:02pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: IANS

The activist-turned-politician alleged that brothers Mukhesh and Anil Ambani and Congress MP Annu Tandon, among others, have crores of rupees deposited in banks in Switzerland.

Making fresh allegations, Arvind Kejriwal on Friday accused multinational HSBC Bank of indulging in money laundering and claimed that Ambani brothers, Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal and Congress MP Annu Tandon had stashed their black money in its Geneva branch.

Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal and lawyer Prashant Bhushan alleged around Rs6,000 crore of black money was lying in 700 accounts of the Geneva branch of the bank.

While the bank reacted cautiously to the charge saying that it takes compliance with the law wherever it operates very seriously, the Ambani brothers rejected the allegations and denied having any accounts there.

Goyal, on the other hand, said by virtue of being an NRI he was entitled to have foreign bank account but he also said he did not have any account in HSBC Bank, Geneva.

Similarly Burman brothers, promoters of Dabur India, who have been accused of having accounts in HSBC Bank Geneva, said "these accounts" were opened by the family members when they were NRI and were legally allowed to open such accounts.

"...It is unfortunate that every person having a foreign bank account is being painted with the same brush," Dabur India said in a statement.

Describing the allegations as baseless and motivated, Tandon, also a former Managing Director of Motech Software, said "you go and ask him on what basis he is making such allegations. I don't think he has anything to prove this."

Kejriwal and Bhushan claimed that people who had deposited "small amounts of money" in the bank were raided but "big fish" like Mukesh and Anil Ambani, Goyal, Tandon and Burmans (Anand, Pradeep and Ratan) of Dabur were "let off" at the behest of the government.

The activists claimed that the Ambani brothers had Rs100 crore each, Reliance Group's Motech Software Rs2,100 crore, late Sandeep and Anu Tandon Rs125 crore each, Goyal Rs80 crore and Dabur's Burman brothers Rs25 crore in the list of around 700 people having accounts in HSBC as of 2006.

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