Singapore will no longer share information related to money laundering or related cases voluntarily, taxes official from Singapore said on Saturday.
The decision comes after the Singapore’s Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (STRO) took displeasure to reports of alleged overseas bank accounts of Congress leader and industrialist, Naveen Jindal, which appeared in the Indian media.
Equivalent of India’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the STRO had shared the information on the Jindals without any reference from India.
The Singapore authorities have made it known that the breach of confidentiality vitiates the information collaboration arrangement on anti-money laundering among the FIUs, known as the Egmont group of which, both India and the island nation are part of.
The refusal of Singapore could prove costly, as the nation has emerged as an international financial hub to track money into and out of India.
The development comes at a time when there have been discussions on the propriety of India sharing information from countries such as Switzerland and United States.
The freedom of sleuths tracking economic offences has been crippled as a result of the stiff position adopted by Singapore.
New Delhi, October 20: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday summoned RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav and in IRCTC Scam, connection with the alleged irregularities in a 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case, an official said.
An ED official, confirming the dates of the summons, told IANS: “We have summoned Tejashwi and Rabri Devi on October 24 and 27 respectively.”
He said Rabri Devi, who is also a former Bihar Chief Minister had asked the financial probe agency to question her in Patna. “We denied her request to question her in Patna and asked her to appear before the agency on October 27,” he said. Rabri Devi has already skipped the agency’s summons four times.
The agency had questioned fromer Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on October 10, for over nine hours in connection with alleged IRCTC Scam.
Earlier, Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi were questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for hours in connection with the case on October 5 and 6 respectively.
The ED, on July 27, had registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR in the matter and began probing Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transfer of money through shell companies.
The CBI, on July 5, had filed a corruption case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts for Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, IRCTC Scam in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm when the RJD chief was the Railway Minister.
The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar — both named in the CBI FIR as accused — in lieu of a bribe in the form of a three-acre commercial plot at a prime location in Bihar’s Patna district, the CBI said.
A preliminary CBI inquiry found the land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing Company and the payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia, another accused. The ED has since also questioned Ahluwalia.
Delight Marketing, which bought the property from the Kochhars, was later taken over by Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav, alleges the CBI.
Sarla Gupta, wife of the RJD chief’s close associate and former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta and a director of Delight Marketing, is a co-accused in the case, apart from then IRCTC Managing Director P.K. Goel.(IANS)
New Delhi, Oct 5: RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday appeared before the CBI here in response to join the investigation into alleged irregularities in the IRCTC Hotels Corruption case.
Lalu Prasad appeared at the Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters on Lodhi Road at around 11.30 a.m. “His questioning has started,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal told IANS.
The CBI on September 26 issued fresh summons — the third in a month — to the RJD chief and his son Tejashwi Yadav in the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp contract case.
The CBI move comes after Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi Yadav skipped two earlier summons.
The CBI on July 5 filed a case for alleged IRCTC Hotels Corruption against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav. The allotment of contracts for IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm when the RJD chief was the Railway Minister.
The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar in lieu of bribe in the form of a plot of prime land in Bihar, the CBI said.
A preliminary CBI inquiry found that the said land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing and payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia.
The Enforcement Directorate has questioned Ahluwalia.
The ED had on July 27 registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR and was probing Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transfer of money through shell companies.(IANS)
Singapore, September 13, 2017 : Halimah Yacob became on Wednesday the first woman President of Singapore, being the only candidate who met the requirements for the presidential elections.
However, Yacob’s selection was overshadowed by criticism that it was undemocratic to give her the top post without a vote. Halimah Yacob, a 63-year-old Muslim of Malay descent, will take her oath of office on Thursday in a ceremony due to be held in Istana, the presidential residence and office, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s office said.
Yacob was the only presidential hopeful among three potential candidates to qualify for the post. This year’s election was reserved for Malay candidates. Two other contenders, businessmen Mohamed Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, did not meet one of the minimum requirements to run, Channel NewsAsia reported.
Yacob, accompanied by her husband and greeted by about 750 supporters, spoke outside the People’s Association building and called for unity in a speech delivered in English and Malay.
“We need every Singaporean to stand together shoulder to shoulder … we have not reached the peak yet and the best is yet to come,” Yacob said, urging citizens to “focus on the similarities that we have and not on the differences.”
In 2016, Singapore’s Parliament approved a constitutional reform which stipulated that the presidential elections would be reserved for one of the ethnicities of the multicultural city-state if no candidate from this group has occupied the post in the previous 30 years.
“I am a President for everyone,” said Halimah Yacob, whose post is more representative than executive.
Yacob was born in 1954 to a Muslim Indian-origin father and a Malay mother.
The mother of five started her political career with the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has been governing the country since 1959, and entered the Parliament in 2001.
She secured her first portfolio in 2011, as State Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and became the Speaker of Parliament in 2013.
In August 2017, Halimah Yacob stepped down as Speaker and resigned from the PAP to be able to run for President. (IANS)