Ravinder Kumar Rishi, under investigation in connection with an alleged fraud in the purchase of Tatra heavy-duty vehicles for the Army, and members of his family are the main beneficiaries of Hemang Foundation, a trust based in the European tax haven of Liechtenstein, which fully controls Tatra Sipox (UK).
The contract for supply of Tatra trucks is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after Army chief Gen Vijay Kumar Singh claimed that he was offered Rs14 crore to clear the purchase of 600 trucks. He further alleged that the trucks were substandard, but the Army had already bought thousands of them.
Rishi is thought to have collaborated with officials in government-run defence supplier Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), from whom the Army directly purchased the vehicles.
The CBI has already questioned Rishi, BEML officials including its chairman and managing director V R S Natarajan Natarajan and some retired Army officers.
According to The Economic Times, fresh details unearthed by the CBI show the existence of another trust in Liechtenstein owned by Rishi. The second trust, Deswa Holding Establishment, was started in 1986, when the first contract for Tatra trucks was signed by BEML. Hemang Foundation fully controls Tatra Sipox (UK), which after declaring itself as a "manufacturers' agent" entered into an agreement with BEML for supplying Tatra trucks to the Army.
Indian defence procurement rules prohibit dealings with agents; thus BEML should have signed the contract only with an original equipment manufacturer not with Tatra, which outsources many of the parts for its trucks.