The Isle of Man government has refuted claims it failed to respond to India’s request for information regarding a major bribery and corruption investigation.
It confirmed it had received requests from Indian authorities, but said these were “executed in full” and all documentary evidence sought was provided through its Attorney General’s Chambers in September and November 2011.
An article appearing in Indian-based title The Print alleged that India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) had written to a number of countries, including the Isle of Man, seeking information about alleged money laundering linked to the granting of 2G spectrum licences.
However, eight of the 10 counties the ED sent letters rogatories (LRs) to did not respond, hence “badly hurting the probe,” it said, quoting unnamed “top sources.”
A probe had “revealed that telecom companies which were in the race for 2G allotments illegally transferred funds to these countries, following which we sent the LRs, but the investigation hit a dead end, as no response was received from these countries despite constant reminders,” an official said.
“We were completely dependent on the authorities abroad. A detailed response from these countries could have helped make the case strong as it constituted key evidence that would help establish the money trail in this case,” a lawyer was quoted saying.
“But since the crucial evidence lies abroad and it does not fall under our jurisdiction, we need to wait for a response. This may take years, and we may still not get the evidence,” he added.
However the Isle of Man government said, in addition to complying with request in 2011, further information was provided in April 2012 in response to a supplementary letter of request sent by India.
“The Attorney General’s Chambers has now written to the Indian authorities regarding the information attributed to them and reminding them of the assistance that has been provided by the Isle of Man.”
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