Indian police Economic Crimes wing has made significant progress on an investigation into a high-level multi-million dollar land development fraud in the last week as Covid-19 travel restrictions start to ease.
They have this week summonsed Delhi-based individuals they want to speak to – and are now making progress in questioning businessman Shravan Gupta after locating him to London – where he has been trapped by the international lockdown caused by COVID-19. The investigators are keen to act fast, before lockdown restrictions begin to be lessened, possibly allowing Gupta to evade their investigation again.
Gupta is being represented by Three Crowns LLC who have refused to comment.
The investigation centers on alleged forged paperwork on Delhi land deals which led to suspects illegally taking assets worth millions of dollars.
The trail of inquiry stretches back to 2011, when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s premier anti-corruption agency, opened an investigation into a property development project undertaken in partnership with the state-owned Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC).
The following year, the CBI commenced a separate investigation into the 2007 public bid for constructing Delhi’s Commonwealth Games Village, while in 2013, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) levied a penalty on Gupta’s operations for violating India’s Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
The ED found that Gupta and other executives had sanctioned the purchase of agricultural land in several Indian states violating provisions of the FEMA. An Indian Supreme Court Spokesman suggested at the time that investigators ‘just go the whole hog to unearth the money’.
In May 2016, Gupta was questioned yet again by the ED over his potential involvement in India’s notorious corruption scandal over the procurement, three years earlier, of the AgustaWestland helicopters defense contract.