|Bryson Street house|
In their global hunt for Mahendra Pal Chaudhry’s original sources of all investment deposits into the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the investigating officers were told to take note of two postal addresses, 35 Haig Street, Bexley NSW 2207, and 49 Bryson St, Toongabbie, NSW 2146.
They were particularly interested in the second address, to which Chaudhry had switched his postal address to in October 2001. It belonged to his son and now a practising Suva lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry, who claimed that his father was a victim of his political foes over the tax saga raging in the country.
The investigators were alerted to the Toongabbie address in Sydney because it was that address which the Commonwealth Bank of Australia had given as Chaudhry’s postal address relating to his call management account in Sydney, Australia.
The bank statements revealed all the deposits and withdrawals from October 5, 2001 to January 1, 2004. The address read: Mr M P Chaudhry, 49 Bryson Street, Toongabbie NSW 2146.
Further documentary evidence was a statement to the same address from Perpetual Investment Management Ltd, which revealed that Chaudhry senior had, on September 17, 2002, bought 500,000.00 units of shares at $1 per unit price, and totalling $500,000.
The summary of his transactions for Perpetual Income Series for the period 1 July 2002 to 31 December 2002 was sent to Mahendra Chaudhry c/o Rajendra Chaudhry, 49 Bryson Street, Toongabbie, NSW 2146.
The statement was sent out to Chaudhry senior on the above address on 20 May 2004, two days after, on May 18, 2004, he had written to the FIRCA’s Income Matching Unit claiming that, “In so far as interest from moneys held in accounts abroad are concerned, please be advised that these have not been brought to Fiji but remain reinvested in the accounts there”.
The investigating officer, while refusing to accept Chaudhry senior’s explanation, noted in the FIRCA office memo that, “The most important detail that we are after is the source of funds invested”.
FIRCA had ordered its investigating officers to establish whether the source of the investment deposit were not from proceeds of crime. It emerged from my investigations that he had secretly received $2million into his account from India, of which $700,000 was secretly put into his account by the Government of India’s Consulate-General in Sydney.
One Harbhajan Lal of Haryana into three lump sums transacted the money. The amount of $503,000 and $486,890 was transferred on November 1, 2000 and February 22, 2001 respectively, when Mahendra Chaudhry held the Haig Street, Bexley address and $514,148.50 was deposited through the Indian Consulate-General in Sydney on April 4, 2002, as revealed in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Bank statement bearing the address, 49 Bryson Street, Toongabbie address.
The bank statements on the above address also revealed other huge deposits running into thousands of dollars and well as huge withdrawals and shopping expenses etc to the same postal address, including the $50,000 gift to his daughter, and withdrawals of $800,000, $100,000, $469,000 and $380,000.
The last closing balance on the above Sydney address between 5 December 2003 and 7 January 2004 revealed a closing balance of $46,594.78.
At the time of my investigation in 2008, the Sydney property was owned by a Bhatnagar who had purchased it from Rajendra Chaudhry for a sum of $420,000.00 on 29 July 2005.
Rajendra Chaudhry purchased the property on 27 August 2001 from one Mooney for a sum $ 274,000.00. The Transfer is marked first home plus which would indicate that no stamp duty was payable for this purchase.
The mortgage document shows that the mortgage was of $ 246,600.00 and the duty paid on that mortgage was $ 696.75. That would mean that he would have paid the 10% deposit of $28,000.00 and borrowed the 90% amounting to $246,600.00.
According to the historical search of December 2004 he discharged the original mortgage and entered into a new mortgage for $325,000.00. The Upstamping should have been on $246,600.00 not on $ 297,000.00.
As this would be regarded as a refinance the duty is only paid on the extra amount of money that you borrowed. It was a refinance with the same mortgagee.
Some seven months later on 29 July 2005 he sold the property for $420,000.00. His mortgage would have been paid out at the time of sale
Rajendra Chaudhry had claimed that allegations of tax evasion against his father were politically motivated.
In reducing the charges Justice Goundar disclosed the following regarding Mahendra Chaudhry’s affidavit before him: “The applicant says that after the political upheaval in 2000, the Australian government offered him and his immediate family members, permanent residency visas. It appears that the applicant did not take on the Australian residency offer.”
But if so, who has been enjoying the millions he had secretly received from India after the failed George Speight coup, the millions of dollars which he was hiding in his Australian bank account until I exposed it in 2008?