Kejriwal targets black money, HSBC’s ‘brazen hawala racket’
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Team Kejriwal targeted the Ambanis, Jet Airways chief Naresh Goyal and HSBC Bank in its latest attack Friday, accusing the bank of providing "doorstep service" for opening new accounts in its branch in Geneva, and "brazenly running a hawala racket" in India.
At a press conference, Arvind Kejriwal demanded the arrest of top officials of HSBC for money-laundering, and the immediate suspension of the bank's operations in India.
Kejriwal named individuals and firms that he said were on a list of 700 Swiss bank account-holders which France had supplied to the Indian government. They were, besides Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani and Goyal, the Ambani brothers' mother Kokilaben, Mukesh Ambani's flagship Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Reliance group company MoTech Software Pvt Ltd., Congress MP from Unnao Annu Tandon and her late husband Sandeep, three members of the Burman family that owns Dabur, and Yashovardhan Birla, head of the Yash Birla group.
The accounts of Birla and Kokilaben Ambani had no balance at the time the list was prepared. Kejriwal said his primary source of information was a Congress leader who became a minister recently — a statement that Kejriwal declined to acknowledge during a television interview later.
Speaking late in the evening, government sources dismissed Kejriwal's allegations as having "nothing new" in them, and assured that the government would, if needed, issue an official statement.
"All these issues have been answered in Parliament. The finance ministry will make a statement at an appropriate time if necessary," the sources said.
The Sunday Express was the first to report on August 7, 2011 that the government had received in July that year lists of roughly 700 Indians who had opened accounts in HSBC, Geneva prior to 2007, and that this was being seen as a major black money trail.