The Swiss federal court has agreed to share information with Indian authorities regarding the bank account of Anil Ambani, Tina Ambani and their two children, the Swiss publication Gotham City has reported.
Newslaundry has a copy of the Supreme Court ruling of April 29th approving a request for mutual assistance from Indian finance ministries Foreign Tax and Research division. It has requested details of Ambani’s Swiss bank account covering the period from April 2011 to September 2018 to examine many offshore structures in which the reliance group head seems to have financial interests.
The court ruling doesn’t explicitly name the Ambani family but Gotham City confirmed from court documents that the person referred to in it as A, B, C and D are, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, Tina Anil Ambani, Jai Anmol Anil Ambani and Jai Anshul Anil Ambani. They were defended in the court by Frederick Serra.
Francois Pilet, the reporter of the story, stated that “as court reporters we are allowed to see the names of the parties in every decision on the Swiss Supreme Court. This is only possible by going in person to the clerk’s office.”
He continued that, Switzerland has seen a rise in the number of tax requests from India s of this year and all of them have been approved by the Federal Supreme Court.
This is a major development because Swiss banking secrecy laws have for many decades made it nearly impossible for governments to seek information regarding suspected money laundering through the country’s private banks.
Swiss law requires a special request for administrative assistance to be made to its government which then decides whether or not to instruct Swiss banks to provide the information.
But during the past few years there has been a strong pressure mounting on Switzerland to provide more assistance to foreign government investigating their citizens over suspicion of concealing black money in its banks.
If Swiss bank approves to share the required information, then it could help the Indian authorities to get a clear picture of whether or not allegations of corruption against Ambani can be proven. However, it would require transparency by the Indian authorities for such information to be made public.
In 2015, Swiss publication said that Anil Ambani has succeeded in cancelling a tax adjustment of over 140 million euros concerning one of his reliance group companies in France. The Gotham City reported “that a decision that had raised many questions because, as Le Monde had revealed, it came at the same time when the French group Dassault was negotiating a major sale of Rafale with India. The sale was tainted with suspicion of corruption at the highest level of the state, and of which Anil Ambani was said to have been one of the main beneficiaries.”
The suspicions of corruptions were raised against Anil Ambani in the year 2018 when the French news publication Mediapart revealed that his reliance group was made Dassault's industrial partner in the indo French Rafale fighter jet deal even though it did not have the requisite profile. The clause in the offset component of the deal required Dassault to generate rupees 30,000 crores worth of business for Reliance Defense.
Francois Hollande, the then French President said “we did not have any saying this. The Indian government proposed this service group and Dassault negotiated with Ambani group. We did not have a choice and we took the partner who was given to us.”
This statement by Hollande raised many questions about corruption in the €7.8 billion intergovernmental deal led in 2016 by Modi. And it was assumed that Anil Ambani was chosen as an important beneficiary of the deal. It was also discovered that the reliance group had given funding to the then French presidents partner actor Julie Gayet.