In the complaint filed on Monday, TCM Mobile LLC said its subsidiary Corewip entered into a joint venture promoted by Tytler’s son Siddharth and arms agent Abhishek Verma to set up a cellular service for rural India after Tytler assured it that top politicians were on board.
Tytler, who was investigated for links with Verma, has strongly denied the allegations. There was no question of him having given any assurance on behalf of any Congress leader, he said.
“These are all concoctions. This is the first time I am hearing this and it is not even remotely correct. The question does not arise,” Tytler told The Indian Express, adding that Verma has been known to lie about his contacts with prominent people.
In its complaint to the FBI, which has also been copied to several investigative agencies in India, TCM Mobile says that it had plans to set up a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) project in rural India and Verma arranged meetings with Tytler in 2009 to build their confidence.
“Before we invested in the company, we met Mr J Tytler several times and were assured in writing in his presence by Verma that this VoIP project for the poor has the blessings of Mr Rahul Gandhi and Mrs Sonia Gandhi,” the complaint says.
It adds that the $1.1 million that it put into the project was fraudulently withdrawn by Verma and his associates using forged documents.
The complaint also contains several dozen photographs sent by Verma to his then US-based escrow agent C Edmonds Allen that were used to assert his close relationship with Tytler. While Verma has in the past denied sending any material to Allen, he was recently chargesheeted by the CBI in a case involving an arms company based on the documents sent by the latter.
Allen has also shared several emails that he purportedly received from Verma that had several references to Tytler, the telecom project and Rahul and Sonia Gandhi. One of the emails, dated December 1, 2009, purportedly from Verma to Allen, elaborates on the telecom project that was to be executed by the joint venture.
“The idea of this JV is to set up (phase 1) cellular WiFi in Delhi, Amethi and Raibarilley (constituencies of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi). Mr Tytler Sr has last Friday at 5 pm submitted the attached presentation to Mr Rahul Gandhi and Mrs Gandhi has sent her blessings through Mr Tytler for the project (sic),” says the email.
It adds that the two promoters of TCM would be meeting “Mr Gandhi along with Mr Tytler in regards this project in Amethi and Raiberilley (sic)” in due course.
The company has also alleged in its complaint that because of the involvement of top politicians, Indian authorities have been reluctant to probe the case despite several complaints being filed with the CBI and the Delhi Police. It has urged the FBI to share the “evidence” provided formally with the CBI to ensure a proper investigation.
The Corewip issue has been hanging fire with the CBI and the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police engaged in a legal battle to decide who should probe the case. Both have contended that the other should investigate it.
While the EOW asked the CBI to investigate the case in February, the agency has been reluctant and has even challenged a special CBI court order to register a formal probe in April and has approached the high court.