NRI clerk links small UP town to Paradise Papers
A 59-year-old NRI clerk working in a money exchange company in Dubai has a modest two-storey house at a nondescript town in Rampur district of Uttar Pradesh, but "has made it" to the list of the 714 Indians mentioned in the Paradise Papers.
Javed Ali Khan, a resident of 42, Najju Khan Khair in Rampur, a constituency represented by Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan, figures in the list along with business magnates, politicians and Bollywood celebrities linked to tax havens.
According to the list, Khan had become director and shareholder of a firm, Siam Capital and Investments Ltd, on November 10, 2003. The firm, which has its registered address at Portellius Trustnet Chambers, PO Box - 3444, Road Town, Tortola British Virgin Islands (BVI), had investments from 18 companies, including Muchiri Catherine Nyambura and Zetland Corporate Services Ltd, based in the Caribbean Islands.
The Paradise Papers, however, don't have any mention of Khan's remuneration during this tenure as shareholder-director of SIAM. Khan quit the Siam board on August 22, 2006.
Khan told TOI over phone from Dubai that his BVI offshore account was opened on the instruction of the then owner of the money exchange.
"I have been working in Wall Street Exchange, Dubai, as a clerk since 2000. The company was initially owned by Mumbai-based businessman Arif Patel. I signed the papers on his instructions. I was told that Siam would give loans to our company. I never operated this account. I am a law-abiding citizen and will never conceal anything from the income tax department," Khan said. Asked whether he knew that he was being made director of Siam, Khan refused to comment.
"I don't own a property in India. I earn 6500 dirham a month," Khan said, adding that he had gone to the Gulf around 25 years ago.
When TOI visited Khan's residence in Rampur, his mother, sister and nephew and cousins were at the house, and they said Khan had last visited them a month ago for a family wedding. "My son and wife live in our ancestral house in Rampur. My son is yet to find a job."