The government has found that the US treasury bonds worth $5 billion recovered from a Tamil Nadu businessman recently by the Income Tax Department are fake.
However, the government is now trying to find out why the trader, T M Ramalingam, made so many visits to Myanmar in the recent past. “The US treasury bonds recovered from the trader have been found to be fake, but we are trying to find why was he frequently visiting Myanmar,” said a finance ministry official, adding Ramalingam might be called in for questioning next week. On December 31, I-T officials had unearthed the bonds from the residence of Ramalingam, based in the central Tamil Nadu town of Dharapuram. There were five instruments with $1 billion each. In the interrogation by the tax department, Ramalingam said the bonds were issued in his name and were valid. He also said the I-T raid followed his application for permission to set up a multi-billion-dollar refinery.
The tax department had questioned officials of Barclays Bank, which is said to have issued these instruments. The bank is also learnt to have told the officials that the papers are fake.
Under foreign investment rules, individuals are allowed to invest up to $200,000 outside the country. On repatriation, any such investment in movable assets abroad has to be converted into rupees.