Liberia cooperates to send SIS fugitive Kakkad back to India

Sunil Kakkad, the chairman and managing director of the Ahmedabad-based Rs2,000-crore Sai InfoSystems (India), who has been absconding along with his family since June last year after being accused of cheating 1,400 employees as well as defaulting on bank loans of at least Rs1,000 crore, was brought to Ahmedabad from Liberia early on Monday by the crime branch of the state police.

This is perhaps a marker in India-Liberia ties, as the latter country, regarded as a haven for tax offenders, arrested Kakkad on an Indian request without an extradition treaty in place, and packed him back to India (See: Satyam again as SIS chief Sunil Kakkad arrested in Liberia for fraud).

Founded in 1992 by Kakkad, the Ahmedabad-based Sai Infosystems was the largest IT company in Gujarat, and had been the platinum sponsor of the Vibrant Gujarat summit last year.

The company had been facing financial troubles since August 2012, leading to delayed salary payments and other imbursements. Kakkad suddenly disappeared on 28 June 2013.

Showing the extent of cooperation, crime branch officials said two Liberian police officers accompanied the Indian police team bringing back Kakkad for security reasons.

"In a well-planned escape, Kakkad had fled to Dubai before he was even named in complaints - which were later registered against him at Vastrapur police station. From Dubai, he went to Ghana and then on to Liberia, apparently to exploit the lack of an extradition treaty between India and Liberia," said deputy commissioner of police, Zone 1, Virendra Singh Yadav.

Offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code were registered against Kakkad for not depositing Rs850 crore of moneys due to the Employees' Provident Fund, as well professional tax and insurance premiums, all of which had been deducted from the salaries of about 1,500 employees of his firm.

Kakkad had also failed to meet loan obligations of about Rs940 crore to several banks, including State Bank of India and Bank of India.

"On the Reserve Bank of India's request, the Central Bureau of Investigation is probing how Kakkad managed to get loans of Rs940 crore against sureties worth Rs150 crore," said Yadav.

Blood samples of the team which returned from Liberia were taken to check for the ebola virus.