Economic fugitive Mehul Choksi funded Sonia Gandhi led RGF

Mehul Choksi (File Photo/IANS)

New Delhi: India’s most wanted economic offender, Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems was a donor to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), the latest in the series of disclosures on controversial donations made to the Congress trust.

This donation for an undisclosed amount is part of the RGF annual report of 2013-15. The donations were made in the name of Naviraj Estates Private Limited and Mehul Choksi is one of the two directors in the company.

Diamond merchant, Choksi is on the run from charges related to a fraud in Punjab National Bank and other banks.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) earlier this month brought back over 2,340 kg of polished diamonds, pearls and silver jewelry valued Rs 1,350 crore of various United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hong Kong based entities of fugitive diamantaires Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi from Hong Kong.

These valuables in 108 consignments were brought back to Mumbai, the ED said.

Out of 108 consignments, 32 belong to the entities controlled by Nirav Modi and rests belong to entities controlled by Choksi.

These valuables were valued on arrival and were subsequently seized in India and independent valuers assessed these earlier consignments to be worth around Rs 137 Crore, the ED said.

One of the biggest bank defaulters, Mehul Choksi’s Geetanjali Gems is top of the list prepared by Reserve Bank of India of top 30 wilful defaulters. The list mentioned that Choksi had defaulted on an amount of Rs 5,044 crore.

This is the latest in the series of embarrassing disclosures on donations made to the RGF for the Congress and its leader, Sonia Gandhi who is chairperson of the RGF.

At the time of intense friction with China, it has been revealed that the Government of People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Embassy in India have been funding the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is Chairperson of RGF and its board has among others former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi.

According to RGF annual report accessed by IANS, in 2005-06, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received a donation from the Government of People’s Republic of China and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China as two separate donors. These are listed as donors in the report among the list of general donors.

Apart from this, Congress government allocated funds to the RGF in the Union Budget. Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister in 1991 allocated Rs 100 crore over 5 years.

The disclosures are coming to light as the RGV comes under scrutiny following exposes that that the Government of China and China Embassy were donors to the Foundation.

However, reportedly, following Opposition uproar, the funds while allocated from the Budget could not be disbursed to RGF.

The Budget Speech of 1991-92 by Manmohan Singh, Minister of Finance presented on 24th July, 1991 has the detail.


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