Held for fraud, DHFL promoters Wadhawans bought business jet, floated offshore companies | Express Exclusive News,The Indian Express

Clipped from: https://indianexpress.com/article/express-exclusive/pandora-papers-wadhawans-dhfl-7574199/

DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and his brother Dheeraj Wadhawan were put behind bars last year and owe Indian banks more than Rs 88,000 crore.

The Wadhawans are still in jail — Kapil Wadhawan had offered a settlement to lenders, saying his personal and family assets are worth Rs 43,000 crore.

The Pandora Papers contain fresh leads for Indian investigation agencies probing the scam involving Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL).

DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and his brother Dheeraj Wadhawan were put behind bars last year and owe Indian banks more than Rs 88,000 crore. The Wadhawans are still in jail — Kapil Wadhawan had offered a settlement to lenders, saying his personal and family assets are worth Rs 43,000 crore.

Read | Pandora Papers: All three Salgaocar brothers set up offshore trusts, firms
https://images.indianexpress.com/2020/08/1×1.png

But what the Wadhawans have not disclosed is that since 2006, they incorporated a string of offshore companies, via the Trident Trust (BVI), registered mostly in Tortola, the British Virgin Islands, and one in the Bahamas.https://www.youtube.com/embed/WS_9w9-H2jI

The flagship BVI entity of Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan is V&M Aviation and records investigated by The Indian Express show that the brothers were in business with the Trident Trust at least until February 2017.

A majority of payments/annual charges/agreements have been settled for the Trident Trust by Dubai-based Wadhawan International Investments. There are documents to show that at least one board meeting of V&M Aviation was held in Mumbai.Also Read |After Panama, it’s Pandora: facing regulatory heat, elite Indians find new ways to ringfence wealth in secret havens

The Trident Trust papers on the DHFL promoters show that months after registering V&M Aviation in November 2006, the company entered into an agreement for the registration of a charge (loan) from Credit Suisse, Switzerland, for purchase of a Bombardier Challenger aircraft. The purchase agreement documents for V&M Aviation, filed in the BVI registry, state that the price of the aircraft was $22.65 million (Rs 170 crore).

E-mails exchanged between Trident Trust during 2015-2016 mention the purchase of the Bombardier aircraft and the fact that by this time, the charge and mortgage with Credit Suisse had been settled. A new Power of Attorney was also signed on February 9, 2017 through the Trident Trust, mentioning the Bombardier aircraft purchase.

🗞️ Read the best investigative journalism in India. Subscribe to The Indian Express e-Paper here.

Records show that after purchasing the aircraft, through a mortgage with Credit Suisse using their offshore vehicles, all mortgages were paid and the directors of V&M Aviation had direct ownership of their “asset’’.

In the bouquet of offshore companies incorporated by the Wadhawans, records show V&M Aviation itself was registered in the BVI in July 2006 with 50,000 shares and Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan as directors. Two other firms were linked to them: Zarara Leisure Limited of BVI, Deblin International Limited, Bahamas.

The Bahamas company, incidentally, is also shown as the shareholder in the aircraft purchase agreement signed with Credit Suisse.

Records also reveal the pattern of cross-holdings between the offshore companies of the Wadhawans. In 2016, documents show, the shareholder of V&M Aviation was changed from Zarara Leisure Limited to another company called Future Max Holdings Ltd, registered in the Jebel Ali Free Zone in 2007.https://www.youtube.com/embed/b0-tNIp4nrM

The shareholder of this company is Excel Way Investment Limited, a BVI company with 50,000 shares and Kapil Wadhawan as its sole director. Later, in 2010, both Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan are shown as its shareholders with 5,000 shares each.

Yet another offshore BVI company with Wadhawans, also registered with the Trident Trust, is Team Fortune Investment Limited. It was registered in 2010 with Kapil Wadhawan as its first director.

Responding to queries from The Indian Express, Rohan Dakshini, lawyer for the Wadhawans, said: “My clients are presently in custody and are not in a position to answer any questions considering their circumstances right now.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s