By Shaikh Moazam Khan
A study by a Berlin-based NGO declares India as the most corrupt nation in the Asia-Pacific region. Not only at home Indians are involved in big frauds and other fin corruption all over the world. Transparency International, a Berlin based NGO working against corruption, spoke to nearly 22,000 people across 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific to understand the levels of corruption in the region. While India remains the most corrupt country in this region, with 69 per cent bribery rates. So, this is the story of a country who claims itself as world’s largest democracy and home to the so called secularism. Yes it is India (Hindustan). In India, around 58 per cent and 59 per cent bribery rates were seen in education and healthcare sectors respectively. The ratio is bribe is not limited to these sectors only. Police department is among most corrupted department in India.
Noticeably, India is found to be more corrupt than Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan and Myanmar in the report. Vietnam turned out to be the second-most corrupt country with 65 per cent bribery rates. Thailand showed 41 per cent bribery rates whereas Pakistan had 40 per cent bribery rates. Apart from these facts, Indian government under premier Modi has claimed that it is focusing on the development of the people by providing them basic facilities such as food, electricity, infrastructure and improvement in health sector. However, the people in India are speaking up against corruption now. So, this is just the bribe ratio domestically. Indians are involved in corruption and bribing the international community and organizations.
There is a growing impression around the globe that fin crimes are the biggest source of India’s rapidly growing wealth. Moreover Indian business community has strong ties with RAW and both supplement each other. Few examples in the past couple of years, corrupt practices of Indians have increased in Middle East especially. The auditing giant’s Middle East’s biennial survey, which focuses on business crime reports, revealed that fraud committed topped the list of all crimes experienced (at 47 percent), up from 36 percent in 2018. Indians are also involved in various other scams in the world. For example, many mill-owners from India were left baffled and devastated after 6,000 tonnes of rice shipped by them to Dubai in 250 containers vanished without a trace between March and April last year. Indians were the mastermind of this scam who Dubai police arrested various people including some Indian nationals who were involved in the scam.
Similarly, a 36-year-old Indian businessman has been arrested on criminal allegations for running a fake investment scheme worth over $13 million that promised to double investors’ money. Sydney Lemos, who hails from Goa was chief executive of Exential, a forex trading company in Dubai Media City, and man behind a Dh50 million ($13.6 million) foreign-exchange scheme that promised to double investors’ money. Lemos was arrested after the allegations were laid at Al Barsha police station. This is another practical demonstration of Indians’ embezzlement in Dubai.
Anil Ambani is India’s leading business tycoon and prominent person. In 2008, Forbes named Mr Ambani as the world’s sixth-richest man with a fortune of more than $40bn. At present Mr Ambani faces a legal case in London as a trio of Chinese banks pursue him for some $700m in unpaid loans they allege he personally guaranteed. Three Chinese banks – the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China – are collectively suing him in London for failing to pay back US$680 million in defaulted loans. It is pertinent to mention here that India’s Supreme Court almost threw Ambani in prison in 2019. His Reliance Communications was unable to pay 5.5 billion Indian rupees to Ericsson AB’s Indian unit. In addition to this, in February 2020, a UK court directed Anil Ambani to pay $100 million within six weeks towards a conditional order granted to three Chinese banks pursuing the recovery of over $680 million owed to them as part of a loan agreement.
This is not the end of scam of Indians abroad. UAE’s banks have initiated legal action against Indian borrowers who skipped their loan repayment and moved to India. During the last few years, many Indian businessmen and salary earners have left the country leaving behind a trail of loan defaults. Over the past five years, total defaults by Indian borrowers in the UAE is estimated in excess of Dh26 billion. In addition to the UAE banks, a number of GCC banks too are seeking legal option in recovering loans defaulted by Indians. Reportedly, along with leading UAE banks such as Emirates NBD Group and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, GCC banks such as Doha Bank, National Bank of Oman and National Bank of Bahrain too are seeking legal action against Indian loan defaulters.
Another Indian business Nirav Modi involved in 2 billion$ fraud discovered at Punjab National Bank in India. Guptas an Indian family known as corrupt cartel with mafia tendencies in South Africa. The Guptas are now in self-imposed exile in Dubai, evading arrest in South Africa, where they stand at the center of a scandal that has already brought down the nation’s president and exposed staggering amounts of corruption in the once-legendary party of Nelson Mandela. The family is accused of wielding enormous political influence in South Africa, with critics alleging that it is trying to capture the state to advance its business interests. The perception grew in March 2016 when South African Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said that a member of the family had offered to promote him to the minister’s post in 2015. Former South African President Jacob Zuma has been accused of helping the Gupta brothers to plunder as much as $7 billion from South Africa.
At the end I would say that the study of fin scams of last five years involving high profile Indian businessmen reveal some interesting end match analysis. It can be said that a trinity is functioning complementing each other’s interest, the government of India, RAW and Businessmen. The combination is found to be working for Indian interest at the cost of other nations. Now some businessmen have started their efforts to pressurize PM Modi for early occupation of Jammu and Kashmir so that they can get their investment done in the valley for their own economic benefits.