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Congress: Anurag Thakur uses FATF report to attack Congress | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: A former CEO of an Indian bank being asked by a close relative of a then ruling party politician to buy a “mediocre” painting for Rs 2 crore in exchange for the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian recognition, has been cited by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a Paris-based intergovernmental watchdog on money laundering and terror financing, as a case study of a classical money laundering tool used by politically influential persons.
“Investigation revealed that, in order to pay kickbacks for receiving awards, Mr A purchased mediocre art from politicians and in turn paid huge kickbacks through banking channels, projecting them as genuine pieces of art. In one such incident, Mr A purchased a piece of art from a close relative of a member of the ruling political party at that time for $264,000. However, the investigation revealed that this was an over-valuation, and that the price paid was not for art, but rather was a bribe to influence the awarding of the prestigious Indian award ‘Padma Bhushan’ for himself. The trial is ongoing and Mr A has been in judicial custody since March 2020,” the FATF report has said.
Although the FATF refrained from identifying the banker or the politician, BJP identified the banker as Rana Kapoor, the jailed former chief of Yes Bank, and the politician as Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi, and accused Congress of bringing shame to the country.
Leading the charge, I&B minister Anurag Thakur said, “The FATF report refers to Rana Kapoor, former CEO of Yes Bank, buying a mediocre painting from Priyanka Gandhi for Rs 2 crore.” Thakur said that the country needs to know how many Padma awards have been sold in this manner.
He further said, “Congress never missed any opportunity to defame India. Now there is a report which has come from the FATF where a case study shows how a model has been adopted by the party for corruption. Our question to Priyanka Gandhi is who forced Rana Kapoor to pay Rs 2 crore for purchase of a painting? Was there a central minister involved, was his premises involved, who is Mr R who is being involved and whether it was painting for Padma Bhushan, or was it cash for Padma Bhushan and has this money been used overseas for some senior Congress leaders?” Thakur said.
Importantly, some of these charges had surfaced in the statements recorded by Rana Kapoor with the ED during its money laundering investigation against him and his daughters and wife. At the time, sources in the agency had also released details of of Kapoor’s conversation with a former Congress MP who reminded him of the former’s promise to buy a painting of late PM Rajiv Gandhi and expressed his dismay over the delay.

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