New Delhi: In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, the government of India on Monday disclosed the names of three businesspersons who have allegedly stashed black money in illegal accounts abroad. These names are: Pradip Burman, the former executive director of Dabur India Ltd, Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya, a Rajkot-based bullion trader and chief promoter of Shreeji Trading Company and Goa-based mining magnate Radha Timblo. According to reports, the three businesspersons have been charged under various sections of the Income Tax Act and the Money Laundering Act.

But who exactly are these people?

Pradip Burman

The second son of former Dabur group of companies chairman Rattan Chand Burman, Pradip Burman is a former executive director of Dabur India. A mechanical engineering graduate from the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he was a member of the Dabur group board from 1979 to 2012. Besides Dabur, Burman is also a member of the board of directors at Aviva Life Insurance.

Burman is the founder-chairman of Sundesh, which according to its website, is a “non-profit organization involved in the education of rural women and other socio-economic activities".

Dabur, in a statement defending its former executive director, said, “We wish to state that this account was opened when he was an NRI (non-resident Indian) and he was legally allowed to open this account. We have followed all the laws and the complete details regarding the account have been voluntarily, and as per law, filed with the Income Tax Department, and appropriate taxes paid, wherever applicable. Therefore, it is unfortunate that every person having a foreign bank account is being painted with the same brush."

Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya

A Rajkot-based bullion trader, Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya is the chief promoter of Shreeji Trading Company, part of the Shreeji Group. Besides, bullion trading, the group has other business interests, including jewellery (Shreeji Ornaments Pvt. Ltd) and real estate (Shreeji Realty). The group, which was founded in 1997, began its operations in the real estate sector, and later consolidated itself into the bullion business.

Lodhiya has been described by the company website, as a “dedicated, visionary, enthusiastic and ambitious young entrepreneur". His company, Shreeji Trading, claims to be “one of the leading bullion dealers in India, offering wholesale delivery of bullion to domestic users i.e. ornament manufacturers, goldsmiths, jewellers and semi-wholesalers"(mintne.ws/1rvlL5b).

Reacting to being named in the affidavit, Lodhiya in his statement said, “I am shocked that the government named me."

Radha Timblo

Radha S Timblo is the director of Goa-based Timblo Pvt. Ltd. She shot into national prominence in 2009-10, when she paid an advance tax of 30.8 crore, along with income tax of 20 crore.

Timblo courted controversy in 2012 when the Goa government allowed her, in partnership with Timblo Pvt. Ltd and others, to operate an illegal mine in Goa by getting a lease renewed. According to a report in The Times of India, in December 2012, the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court in its report said, “It is seen that the mining lease was granted in the name of an individual who had migrated to Pakistan and died there. He was never involved in operating the mining lease or seeking renewal of it." (mintne.ws/1DjBxq8)

The report continues, “The lease has been allowed to be operated illegally by a partnership firm comprising Timblo Pvt. Ltd, Ms Radha S Timblo and others. The mining lease has been renewed by the Goa government in favour of the partnership firm owned and controlled by Timblo family by disregarding and in blatant violation of Rule 37 of Mineral Concession Rule,1960."

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