Waiting for India's request in Hasan Ali case: Swiss govt

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Hasan Ali Khan
New Delhi, Mar 8: Switzerland authorities today (Mar 8) said that they were waiting for a "complete" request from India seeking help in probe against Hasan Ali. This comes after the domestic enforcement agencies tightened their noose on the stud farm owner accused of having billions of dollars of black money in Swiss banks.

The Indian government had first sought freezing of Ali's bank accounts in Switzerland way back in 2007. It had made several requests since then to the European country for help in probe against the Pune-based businessman, accused of having massive illicit wealth in foreign banks.

However, Swiss authorities have rejected all requests, saying they did not conform to necessary grounds for mutual assistance in this particular case and have asked India to submit a fresh request with certain facts and details.

Replying to a query on whether the Indian authorities have approached Switzerland with a fresh request for assistance in Hasan Ali case, a spokesperson for the Swiss law ministry told PTI that there was no such development so far.

Ali was arrested last night by the Enforcement Directorate, after the agency carried out searches at his Pune home and that of his associates'' premises in several cities.

A day later, the Supreme Court today asked probe agencies to consider invoking terror and other stringent penal charges against 53-year old Ali for his alleged links with arms dealers and people linked to terror activities.

The ED also submitted to the court, in a sealed cover, its status report on the probe into the case related to black money in which they also mentioned Khan's arrest last night.

The government also told the court that it would also furnish a status report on income-tax department's probe.

India had last contacted the Switzerland government in Aug 2010 seeking legal assistance from the law ministry of the European nation in criminal proceedings for tax offences against Ali, the Swiss government official said.

In reply to this request, the Swiss ministry, the Federal Department of Justice of Switzerland, had said that India needed to submit a "complete" request by corroborating about issues like suspected tax frauds to get the assistance.

However, the request has not been completed so far, the spokesperson for Swiss law ministry said and added that "Indian authorities may complete their request at any time."

India had first sought legal assistance from the Swiss authorities in Jan 2007 in this case, but Switzerland can provide help only after India makes a request "complete" with facts corresponding to a fraudulent conduct of the accused, the official said.

PTI

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