Friday, February 28, 2014

RIL used KG Basin for money laundering: AAP

Allegations False And Defamatory, Says Reliance
New Delhi:Continuing its offensive against industrialist Mukesh Ambani, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday charged the UPA with turning a blind eye while his company — Reliance Industries — allegedly indulged in money laundering and goldplating profits acquired through the KG Basin gas project.

AAP leader and senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan also claimed that Union oil minister Veerappa Moily was in “Ambani’s pocket” and was pliable to do his bidding. He alleged that Moily had, in fact, continued to demand the extension of a “tainted” officer as chairperson of ONGC despite negative vigilance reports.

Elaborating on the “money-laundering” charge, Bhushan said the government had chosen to ignore a letter written by its high commission in Singapore in August 2011, pointing out that Rs 6530 crore had come to India from BioMetrix Marketing Ltd, a one-room company in Singapore that did not do any business. The asset-less company was responsible for the single biggest FDI in India and the money had been invested in Reliance group of companies, including Reliance Gas Transportation which is 100% owned by Ambani, he alleged.

The Commission’s letter also pointed out that the owner of BioMetrix was Atul Shanti Kumar Dayal. Bhushan said Dayal was a “front” for Reliance since he was a director in several of its companies.

In a statement, Reliance Industries said the allegations were “highly defamatory, false, irresponsible and devoid of any merit or substance whatsoever. These false allegations have been repeatedly made and their regurgitation in the media is fuelling an orchestrated, politically-motivated campaign against us”.

The party also accused Moily of seeking an extension for ONGC chairman Sudhir Vasudeva, who is to retire on Friday, and claimed he was appointed by the government despite the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) rejecting his clearance twice.

“CVC had pointed out that apetition relating to KG basin was pending in the high court and that the CVC itself had sought a report from the ministry on these issues,” Bhushan said.

“But Moily overruled the CVC and sought to give him (Vasudeva) an extension against the said recommendation without a vigilance clearance,” he said.

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