Docklands money trail put Jatin Mehta's Winsome loss theory in the docks
New Delhi: Despite being successful in getting a partial reprieve from a Sharjah court which awarded a miniscule amount as compared to the alleged Rs. 6,800 crore loot on Indian banks by fugitive diamantaire Jatin Mehta, the money trail of an offshore entity Docklands Investments believed to be controlled by the absconder has put the business loss theory in the docks.
According to reliable information in possession of the Indian investigators, a mammoth $750 million was laundered through a clutch of half a dozen companies to Jatin Mehta controlled, related and associated entities. Jatin Mehta alongwith his wife Sonia and son Suraj stand accused in a chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation earlier this year.
According to sources, this is just a part of the $ 1.26 Billion default perpetuated by Jatin Mehta under the corporate veil of Winsome Group companies in India.
In 2012, Jatin Mehta and Winsome Group have claimed that its overseas buyers to whom the $1.26 billion worth jewellery was exported had defaulted on the payments owing to Derivatives losses suffered by them. However, according to the trail, all of the 13 overseas buyers were controlled by a Jordanian National Haythem Obaidah. Out of the $1.26 billion, it is understood that a lion's share $ 1.03 Billion was further diverted through a series of structured transactions out of which $750 million were routed to UK-based Docklands Investments Ltd.
Docklands Investments later structured $750 million in accounts of different entities namely Bramhall & Lonsdale Ltd., Herrington & Charles Trading Ltd., Welland Investments Ltd., Curt & Harte Tools Ltd. and Rose Mountain LLP. All these six entities incorporated in the UK were owned by a Cyprus-based entity and incidentally all these half dozen entities were shut in 2016. However, the trail is believed to have gone 2-3 levels further leading to some transactions reflecting in entities directly or indirectly associated with Jatin Mehta, his co-accused wife & son as well as relatives and close associates. The Indian investigators are in possession of information of the fund movement tracked from Obaidah to Docklands and the forward trail.
Jatin Mehta is believed the perpetuator of the entire conspiracy to cheat the Indian Banks after a major loss on his business credibility when a case of mixing of synthetic diamonds with natural diamonds was reported in Belgium. The Belgian authorities later gave a clean chit to Jatin Mehta controlled entities against which alleged mixing of diamonds case was reported. However, by this time the bllion-dollar default had been perpetuated allegedly under the garb of declaring a business loss owing to non-payment of sales proceeds by the foreign buyer, as per sources in the know.
Parts of the proceeds of the alleged crime are said to have found their way to a company which was earlier owned by Jatin Mehta. The company has since been closed like a large number of other intermediate shell firms through which proceeds of $1.03 billion were structured out. Sources believe that the $1 billion plus squeezed out of the Indian Banks is now lying in various tax havens across the world, partly in the Caribbean islands and partly in Far East. Jatin Mehta is understood to have acquired substantial assets abroad using these funds in names of various entities through a complex web of transactions. Like in case of Nirav Modi, Indian investigators are confident of seizing a large part of immovable and movable assets as some previous associates of Mehta have revealed the modus operandi during the course of the investigations. The prospects of co-operation from foreign agencies will increase with the filing of more chargesheets by the CBI and the ED in the next 3-4 months.