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NRI being tried in Britain for ‘money-laundering’

Judgment in the appeal case of a non-resident Indian, Raj Arjandas Bhojwani, who received a six-year jail term over multi-million dollar money-laundering charges, is expected any day in Britain’s semi-autonomous island of Jersey.

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Judgment in the appeal case of a non-resident Indian, Raj Arjandas Bhojwani, who received a six-year jail term over multi-million dollar money-laundering charges, is expected any day in Britain’s semi-autonomous island of Jersey.

Bhojwani was sent to prison for six years after being found guilty in March.

Bhojwani was convicted of keeping ill gotten commissions arising from a contract in which it is alleged that he paid bribes to the Nigerian politicians at the time of General Abacha’s corrupt regime.

He is said to have sold Tata trucks from India to the Nigerian government at an inflated price in 1996-97. His commission from the contract in question was banked in the same account as the rest of his business profits, totalling around 64 million pounds.

Bhojwani’s defence to the charge was that the Nigerian government had not charged or prosecuted him and therefore the Jersey courts had no jurisdiction to charge him for an offense that was committed outside the territorial jurisdiction of Jersey.

He also argued that his actions were not criminal as he did not undertake the alleged conversation or transfer with the criminal purpose alleged by the prosecution.

The 52-year-old businessman was arrested in February 2007 while trying to catch a flight to the US, reportedly for medical treatment.

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