Former MP Baijayant Panda, wife have accounts in foreign bank: BJD

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New Delhi: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Tuesday alleged that former MP Baijayant Jay Panda and his wife have bank accounts in a foreign country.

It said a “criminal prosecution” was needed for possible violation of laws relating to foreign exchange regulation and money laundering.

This issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab which is related to Panda.

Panda had quit the party and his Parliament membership in June last year after his ties with the party and relationship with chief minister Naveen Patnaik was soured.

The senior BJD MP Mahtab alleged: “An Indian passport holder did not take the approval of the government or the RBI before the companies, in which the person, and his wife and his family friends have controlling and beneficial interests, opened bank accounts in the tax haven of Nassau, Bahamas. I am talking about Mr B J Panda”.

Mahtab said Panda’s defence is that “he was neither a student nor an NRI at the relevant time and therefore, he did not need prior approval of the RBI or the government before opening the account.”

The senior parliamentarian questioned: “Did he (Panda) declare the account to RBI once he returned to India and ceased to be an NRI as required under the law?

He went on to question did Panda intimate the RBI and the government when closing the account?

Mahtab questioned further whether he repatriated the entire amount held in these foreign bank accounts as is required in the law?

The BJD MP wondered If Panda is not liable for criminal prosecution under several Indian laws relating to foreign exchange violation and money laundering.

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