In 2012, Shravan Gupta, the Managing Director of Emaar MGF appeared before the local Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court of India in connection with a major scam. Since the CBI submitted its charge sheet in this case naming Gupta as an accused and charging him with causing loss to a public sector partner, he has been summoned by the court to appear, which he did. He was ordered to hand over his passport to the court.
In February 2017, Gupta was questioned at the Delhi zone office of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which was not convinced with his responses. He was asked about the inflow of funds from Mauritius. The questioning came after a complaint by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who asserted that there was a need to probe the links of several individuals, whose extended family owns Emaar and Guido Haschke, the middleman in the eye of the storm in the infamous AgustaWestland episode.
In that matter, Gupta claims that the appointment of Gautam Khaitan and Guido Haschke to the board of Emaar MGF Land Ltd in 2009 was purely for business reasons, albeit no one in ED bought this theory. Gupta is said to have told the agency that both the middlemen being investigated were brought in because one of the directors resigned. The vacancy needed to be filled as the company wanted to bring out an initial public offering (IPO) at that point.
The ED subsequently raided Emaar’s office and the residences of two of its directors on 2 December 2009, for suspected violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act. “Soon after the raid, Gupta resigned
The Economictimes of India recently carried a story entitled “Emaar accuses former partner MGF, Shravan Gupta of fraudulent transfer of land parcels.” The Dubai-based realty developer Emaar Properties’ subsidiary of Emaar India cautioned the public against dealing with its erstwhile joint venture partner MGF Group, its promoter Shravan Gupta, and associates, in respect of a land parcel in Okhla, Delhi. Emaar has also issued a public notice to this effect.
The public notice elaborates that Emaar has approached National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) alleging illegal conduct by Shravan Gupta and MGF Group, causing losses of properties among other claims.
In December 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized assets worth USD US$1.4 million from Gupta under Section 37A (1) of Foreign Exchange Management Act. It indicated that one of his cases is being investigated by the Central Investigation Bureau and is also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. Gupta was accused of trying to evade the investigation and a court in New Delhi has issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him in this case.
According to Emaar, it has information that Shravan Gupta and his family are outside India and has recently learned from a court order in an unrelated matter that he and his family are likely to take up citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Commentators on social media from India are stating that once these Indian businessmen are accused of a crime they are likely to take up Dominican citizenship via the country’s CBI program.
In another story published by “News Strike entitled, “EMAAR accuses MGF AND Saravan of Fraudulent And Illegal Transfer of Land Parcels”, it is stated that Emaar India Limited, a subsidiary of world-renowned global real estate company Emaar Properties, Dubai, and a joint venture between Dubai-based Emaar and Mr. Shravan Gupta’s MGF Developments Limited that is one of the world’s leading real estate developers involved in the Indian real estate business cautioned the publicagainst dealing with MGF Group, its promoter Mr. Shravan Gupta, and associates, in respect of a land parcel in Okhla, Delhi. This land was valued at nearly INR 5 billion in 2008 and maybe currently valued much higher.
It is reported that once Emaar Properties, Dubai took management control of Emaar India, it found several unauthorized related party transactions which occurred prior to 2016. After conducting internal investigations, Emaar proceeded with recourse to the necessary remedies available under Indian law. Emaar sought to recover over INR 24 billion and interest from the relevant date of siphoning of funds or properties. The proceedings were filed in November 2019 before the NCLT Delhi.
Emaar was informed that Mr. Shravan Gupta and his family are since outside India and recently learned from a court order in an unrelated matter that he and his family are likely to take up citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica”.
The company stated that it shall continue to pursue its remedies under Indian law as it has faith in the Indian legal system and the judiciary and confidence that the legal processes will catch up with MGF and Mr. Shravan Gupta. The question, therefore, is raised: When will be Dominicansdemonstrate such confidence in our legal system to file a claim against the DLP administration to account for the unconstitutional CBI program that continues to damage the reputation of the country and cause severe harm to it? By extension, will Dominicans ever be so moved to proceed to our courts to force the Skerrit-led Administration to account for the mismanagement and abuse of the resources derived from the CBI program?
One hopes that the local Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is undertaking its independent investigations separate from the ongoing investigations of other international bodies on the source of funds, which may well be proceeds of international money laundering and other serious crimes.