Motech Software – how Reliance stashed Black Money in Swiss Banks and later snapped all ties with the shell firm after money laundering probe was initiated. The biggest Indian account holder with nearly USD 500 million in Geneva branch, its website now hosts porn. Coincidentally the same Income Tax Commissioner’s office were the files related to Ambani family’s Black Money cases were kept was very recently broken-in and important files stolen.
India’s fight against suspected black money stashed in Swiss banks has reached a village lane in Andheri area of Mumbai, where an obscure-sounding company, Motech Software Pvt Ltd, was set up nearly two decades ago that allegedly went on to deposit millions of dollars in Switzerland through a maze of offshore entities.
Indian tax authorities have sought the Swiss government’s assistance in its probe against this company, after which Switzerland’s Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has issued a notice to the firm asking it to nominate a person for exercising their right to be heard.
In the notice dated September 24, published in Switzerland’s latest federal gazette in Berne, Motech Software has been asked to give details of the nominated person within 10 days for exercising its right to appeal against sharing of information with the Indian tax authorities.
While publicly available official documents do not reveal much about this company’s ownership and business dealings, its name figured in the leaked ‘HSBC Bank List‘ as the largest Indian account holder with nearly USD 500 million in a Geneva branch of the global banking giant and reports as well as some regulatory orders have suggested this company was originally set up by entities linked to one of the largest Indian conglomerates that later snapped all its ties.
A Reliance Group Company
Interestingly, a website address mentioned in the past job postings by this company, which claimed to be a global technology consultancy firm, now hosts pornographic material and the listed phone numbers and emails do not appear to be functional. Further probe by GreatGameIndia found these address to be in Mogra Village Lane, Andheri (East). Below are the details:
MoTech Software Pvt. Ltd 56, Mogra Village Lane, Andheri (East) Mumbai - 69, India Ph: +91 22 821 4541 Fax: +91 22 820 8757 Web: www.motechsoftware.com (now hosts porn) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is interesting to note however is that the PTI report that carried the story left out a crucial detail – that is the name of owner of Motech Software. The details from the job portal mentioned above carries the owner information. It says:
“MoTech (A Reliance Group Company) is a global consultancy organization that provides comprehensive business & IT solutions. Financially backed by Reliance, MoTech continuously invests in building expertise in industry domains, in a wide range of services, platforms and technology.”
Dealings with HSBC Bank
The Registrar of Companies records show the company’s status as “active”, a paid up capital of Rs 5 crore and the last Annual General Meeting date of December 30, 2011. It mentions the registered address as Mogra village lane in Andheri (East) area of the country’s financial capital. The company came under the scanner after details about the Indian names on the ‘HSBC Bank List‘ reached India under a bilateral agreement between Indian and French governments.
Subsequently, Indian authorities sought details from Switzerland and now it has reached the final stage of the information sharing between the two countries. A similar notice, also dated September 24, has been issued to Monaco-registered Infrastructure Company Ltd, which is also said to be linked to Motech Software.
#NitaAmbani has been elected to the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to promote Indian culture. The Met however has a long history of allegations and lawsuits about its status as an institutional buyer of looted and stolen Indian antiquities. https://t.co/xNNnERviSJ
— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) November 13, 2019
The Indian tax department and other agencies have already acted against a large number of entities named in the ‘HSBC Bank List‘ and have also got details about many of them from the Swiss authorities. Similar requests have been made to several other countries also, including from some jurisdictions perceived to be offshore tax havens.
Income Tax Notices to Reliance
The Income Tax Department’s Mumbai unit has served notices to the members of RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s family, including his wife Nita Ambani and their three children. The notices were served on March 28 this year, under the 2015 Black Money Act, for their “undisclosed foreign income and assets”. Meanwhile, Reliance Industries has denied the report, saying it didn’t receive any such notice from the I-T Department. “We deny having received any such notices from the income tax department,” the company said in a statement.
This is directly from SEBI order above where it says Motech Software is promoted by Reliance Group. One of its Directors Ms Annu Tandon is also Corporate Consultant of Reliance Group. Note also the website of Reliance controlled Shell company mentioned by SEBI, it hosts porn now. pic.twitter.com/DRdHE91h3a
— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) September 28, 2019
As per the report, the probe pertains to a larger I-T inquiry, which started in 2011, under which around 700 India individuals and entities are being investigated for holding accounts in HSBC Bank in Geneva. The number reportedly went up to 1,195 after the ‘Swiss Leaks’ in February 2015.
As per The Indian Express report, around 14 accounts in HSBC bank in Geneva had a total balance of $601 million (over Rs 4,200 crore). These accounts, held by offshore entities in tax havens, were allegedly connected via a complex web of associates and offshore companies to the Reliance Group.
Money Laundering Web
The guy who created Ambani family’s Black Money laundering network was none other than Robert Plasses, director of the HSBC Bank in Geneva in 2003.
The Income Tax notice issued on March 28, 2019, says Mukesh Ambani’s family members are the “ultimate beneficiaries” of one of these 14 entities, the Capital Investment Trust. The notices include details regarding several entities including Capital Investment Trust, Thames Global Limited, Infrastructure Company limited, Antalis Management Limited, Infrastructure Company Limited and Harinarayan Enterprises.
As per the I-T notice, Capital Investment Trust was initially formed on November 5, 2003, with total funding of $1,000. It further owned Thames Global Limited, which owned two more companies — Infrastructure Company and Antalis Management — in the British Virgin Islands.
The tax authority says the Ambanis has not revealed their holdings in Capital Investment Trust. They also didn’t disclose the details regarding Capital Investment Trust’s “underlying company”, Infrastructure Company Limited, which is based in Cayman Island. They were also allegedly the beneficiaries of this company. Besides, they are also beneficiaries of Mumbai-based Harinarayan Enterprises. The notice had asked the Ambani family members to show evidence, accounts or documents in their support. The first hearing in the case was April 12 this year.
HSBC Bank – An East India Company
HSBC Bank as we have detailed in our earlier report is an East India Company formed bank. After Indian farmers were forced to grow Opium by East India Company it was smuggled into China by Indian collaborators of EIC and was used to drug generations of Chinese. When the Chinese Emperor revolted an open war was declared on them known as the Opium Wars. China lost and Hong Kong was taken from them. This laid the foundations of HSBC Bank which was established to manage and distribute the wealth looted from China and India. This process has not stopped even today, with the illgotten money channelled into financing terrorist attack in India. Read more about it in GreatGameIndia‘s exclusive report – HSBC Bank – Secret Origins to 26/11 Mumbai Attacks.
— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) January 19, 2019
Return of East India Company
In the late 90s secret meetings took place in London where the blueprint for the return of the East India Company was drafted. Called Vision 2020 the scheme was a brainchild of an American consultancy firm born out of US military McKinsey and the Big Four consultancy firms. Kicked out of Andhra Pradesh now Kashmir is their new hunting ground. The Kashmir conflict itself is an Anglo-American Operation.
Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI)
With effect from this month, an automatic information exchange mechanism is also coming into force between India and Switzerland under which the Indian tax authorities will have access to all details about Swiss bank accounts of Indians, including those closed during 2018.
The data can be quite useful for establishing a strong prosecution case against those who had any unaccounted wealth in those accounts, as it provides entire details of deposits and transfers as well as of all earnings including through investments in securities and other asset classes. However, the details received by India would be governed by confidentiality provisions.
Three Chinese banks are suing Anil Ambani in a London court for failing to pay back $680 million in defaulted loans.https://t.co/9QxU1d101x
— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) November 9, 2019
Besides the automatic exchange, there are at least 100 cases of older accounts held by Indians, which might have been closed before 2018, for which Switzerland is sharing details with India under an earlier framework of mutual administrative assistance as Indian authorities had provided prima facie evidence of tax-related wrongdoings by those account holders.
A Swiss delegation was in India late last month before the first set of details could get shared under the new automatic information exchange, while the two sides also discussed possible steps to expedite execution of tax information sharing requests made by India in specific cases and enhancing of collaboration in offshore tax compliance matters. The Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is being seen as a major boost in India’s fight against suspected black money stashed abroad.
In an incident kept under wraps so far, there has been an alleged break-in in the office of one of the Chief Commissioners of Income Tax who has an office on the fourth floor of Aayakar Bhavan in Mumbai.
— Mrs Anjali Damania (@anjali_damania) October 3, 2017
The break-in, The Indian Express learnt, was discovered after Ganesh Chaturti holiday in Mumbai on September 2. The Chief Commissioner, Alka Tyagi, is the supervisory head of units that assess taxes of all companies and banks located in Fort, Ballard Estate, Colaba and Nariman Point, a large commercial hub in Mumbai. Among the assessment cases being handled by her unit are the Deepak Kochhar-ICICI Bank case, the Ambani family Black Money Act case besides several important search cases.
Officials said the break-in was discovered by Income Tax security staff in the morning when they found locked cupboards broken in and ransacked — several files and papers were “lying in disarray” a member of the administration team employed in the building said.
No FIR has been filed although souces said the Chief Commissioner has sent a written complaint on the incident to Principal Chief Commissioner Satish Kumar Gupta who also has a chamber in the same building. Orders have been since been issued for all CCTV footage to be examined. Officials said photographs of the scene at the Chief Commissioner’s office have been taken but an assessment of what could have been allegedly stolen is still in progress.