Observing that “builders only understand the color of money or a prison sentence”, the Supreme Court of justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah condemned a company of the IREO group on August 19 for failing to comply with its order ordering the refund the money to a home buyer.
Many homebuyers, having lost all hope of securing their apartment, go to court, seek possession or refund. The same goes for big name foreign investors like Axon Capital and the Children’s Fund Foundation going to overseas courts for returns on hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into the group’s projects. The flagship product of the IREO group, IREO Private Limited, records losses – Rs 500 crore in 2018-19.
But group co-founder Lalit Goyal, whose sister is married to BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal, had transferred assets, investments and stakes, worth an estimated $ 77 million, to an offshore trust structure that included four entities registered in the British Virgin Islands long before the group got into trouble, reveal internal documents from Trident Trust, a global business services company.
According to these documents, Goyal – his residential address is mentioned as Marina Bay Residences, 18 Marina Boulevard, # 45-08, Singapore – had established the Oak Veneer Trust in the Guernsey Tax Haven with Standard Chartered Trust (Guernsey) Ltd as as fiduciary. Goyal is the âsettlorâ – the one who creates or creates the trust – of Oak Veneer Trust. He and Standard Chartered Trust (Guernsey) Ltd – as a director of Oak Veneer – are the “Beneficial Owners” of the four offshore entities, all of which were acquired either to hold property, interests and investments, or to be an âinvestment vehicleâ.
ðï¸ Read the best investigative journalism in India. Subscribe to the Indian Express e-Paper here.
The documents are part of Trident Trust Third Party Introducer Forms signed by a senior executive of Standard Chartered Trust (Guernsey) Ltd, the administrator of Oak Veneer Trust, in November 2016.
Indian express emailed questions to Lalit Goyal and the IREO Private Ltd Compliance Officer last month, but there were no responses.
The four offshore entities, all with registered addresses in the British Virgin Islands, are: Maple Leaf Worldwide Limited, Madison Group Services Limited, Turquoise Waters Worldwide Limited and Garden Estate Worldwide Investment Limited. These four cumulatively hold assets with an estimated value of approximately US $ 77.73 million.
In 2016, the real estate group was in the limelight after announcing a partnership with Donald J Trump Jr’s The Trump Organization for a Rs 100 crore office tower project in Gurugram.
The latest financial reports of IREO Private Ltd for 2018-19 show that the company recorded losses of Rs 500 crore on turnover of Rs 376.24 crore. The total losses recorded on the balance sheet amounted to at Rs 1,774.51 crore. Its total assets were Rs 4,505.49 crore, with stocks alone amounting to Rs 4,061.48 crore. Its holding company is Ireo Investment Holding III Ltd, based in Mauritius.
In February 2018, Goyal was accused by two New York-based global investment firms, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Axon Partners, of âlarge-scale fraudâ.
On March 19, 2018, the Washington Post reported that the two men had “filed a criminal complaint with the New Delhi Police Department last month, alleging that the fund’s Indian Managing Director Lalit Goyal, co-founder Anurag Bhargava and others were engaged in “large-scale fraud”. by “illegally siphoning” at least $ 147 million of investor money, although the actual sum may approach $ 200 million … New Delhi police say they have received the complaint. “
All four entities are standard companies with the same shareholders, directors and registrars. The shareholders of the four companies are two companies registered in Guernsey, Nominees One Ltd and Nominees Two Ltd. The director of the four companies is Songbird Ltd, also registered in Guernsey. Standard Chartered Trust (Guernsey) Ltd is responsible for maintaining the physical records at PO Box 620, Bordeaux Court, Les Echelons, South Esplanade, St Peter Port in Guernsey, a British Crown Dependency and the second largest of the Channel Islands. Norman. The shareholders and the director have the same address.
While details of Oak Veneer Trust are not available in the documents, those of the four entities were specified in the British Virgin Islands-based Trident Trust Third Party Introducer Company Update Form.