The promulgation of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018 which provides for confiscating properties and assets of economic offenders including loan defaulters who flee the country and the rigorous follow-up with foreign legal systems to get culprits charged with economic offences in India back have finally began bearing fruit – Vijay Mallya, NiMo, Umesh Parekh to name a few.
In a first, a UK court has ruled in favour of Indian banks permitting enforcement officers to enter the properties belonging to Vijay Mallya near London and seize assets. That brings the consortium of Banks closer to the Rs 9,000 crore they had lent to Mallya. This also puts on the higher side the probability of Mallya being extradited to India to face trial for the financial irregularities, including money laundering with which he has been charged with.
The Mallya ruling in London would surely have sent shivers down the spines of the likes of Nirav Modi, Umesh Parekh and several others who until now had been seeking safe haven in countries abroad after having looted banks in India. The system seems to have woken up to the perils of letting off financial offenders in the past and will surely get its hand on them.
Umesh Parekh is the promoter and Managing Director of Kolkata-based jewellery firm Shree Ganesh Jewellery House (I) Ltd. Umesh is believed to be the mastermind and the key player in laundering funds out of India from the company. He is presently absconding, his name included in the list of fugitives. In a striking similarity to Mallya, Umesh has been living a flamboyant life with probably one difference. He is reported to be having 3 wives (all Indian), one in India (Kolkata) and the other 2 in Dubai and Kenya respectively.
A St Kitts passport holder, Umesh Parekh lives a lavish lifestyle out of Dubai and Kenya. He reportedly owns a house in Palm Jumeirah and another one in Arabian Ranches and a 3-bedroom Yatch; all of which have been purchased only recently. With businesses running in Dubai and Kenya he drives a Rolls Royce which he bought at age 45 and had been been based out of Kolkata until recently, when he fled the country considering the dangers of his financial impropriety playing catch.
CASE FILE: UMESH PAREKH
Shree Ganesh Jewellery House (I) Ltd, a Kolkata-based, company has cases filed against its promoters by various law enforcing agencies. The first is an FIR filled by the Regional Office of the State Bank of India in Kolkata for having forged documents for the purpose of availing loans from 20 nationalised banks to the tune of Rs 2,223 crore. The second is an equally intriguing case filed by the Department of Commerce with the DRI alleging violation of FEMA by failing to have achieved exports against the benefits it claimed for imports at its Unit set up in the SEZ.
From Board Room conversations to household chatter, one discussion that has found a universal audience is about how big businesses have looted the Indian banking system of thousands of crores leaving it highly vulnerable in the wake of rising NPAs.
The key question everyone is asking is “Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government bring fugitive elements who have looted and scooted to foreign countries back to India?”