Do Calangute MLA (member of the legislative assembly) of Goa Agnelo Fernandes frequent trips to oil-rich Qatar have something more sinister than what meets the eye? Yes, say sources close to the three-time coastal MLA, as he is Qatar for the fourth time in two years.
The Economic Development Corporation’s Chairman is visiting the Persian Gulf country which will host the 2022 Football World Cup and is on private visit at the invitation of a Goan association for their dance and dine.
Agnelo is among the troika of Goan politicians of former Deputy chief minister Dayanand Narvekar and Former Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro who have been invited as guests by Goan Welfare Association Qatar for their “Mayball dance” which will be held in the Qatari capital city of Doha on April 28. The frequent trips of Goa politicians have come under the scanner after Education minister Babush Monserrate was caught with lots of unaccounted foreign and Indian Currency at the Mumbai airport. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Goa-minister-detained-at-airport-with-Rs-25-lakh/Article1-680710.aspx
The Calangute MLA who was recently in the news for the attack on fisherman of Candolim http://www.navhindtimes.in/goa-news/calangute-meet-flays-attack-fishermen last year visited Qatar thrice before. Once as chief guest for the Mayball dance and also for the Goa Day, both functions organized by Goan Welfare Association Qatar. http://www.navhindtimes.in/goa-news/calangute-meet-flays-attack-fishermen
The third time he visited Qatar was for the Brazil-Argentina match in November, while he visited Qatar for the first time in November 2009 for the Brazil-England match.
Sources close to the MLA informed that Agnelo’s frequent trips to Qatar has something related to the havala racket.
A common practice- one of the many – followed by Goan MLA’s and businessman alike to convert black money into white goes this way. (see below how it works)
“We are fed up of seeing this corrupt people coming to Qatar. Why the Goan associations are inviting such people with no principles and who have a host of controversies behind their back,” asked an agitated Sandeep Arajuo, who recently shifted from Goa to Qatar and now works a lifeguard at Katara beach.
Arajuo was referring to Narvekar, who first hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 1989 when a young beautiful girl Sunita Haldankar, accused the then speaker and current Aldona MLA of molestation.
The lawyer turned politician who made his debut as MLA representing the MGP, lost the subsequent election but has had since an uninterrupted run to the assembly.
But controversies have been following the former Vice president of Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) and current Goa Cricket Association President. Narvekar has been charged along with seven others in the infamous Cricket’s ticketgate scam of April 6 2001. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/94978.html
On that day India lost the final match and with it the series to Australia and Goa lost its face. Hundreds of crickets fans having genuine tickets were cane charged and turned away as the stadium gates as the stadium was filled to its capacity. Later on investigations found out that Goa cricket Association (GCA) in connivance with ticket contractor Chimnay Fallary had printed fake tickets in excess of the sitting capacity of the Fatorda Stadium.
Narvekar who was the GCA at that time was charge sheeted in the case along with seven others while Goa government headed by Manohar parrikar had appointed a panel of inquiry headed by retired high court judge Pense to inquire into the fiasco.
The Court case against Narvekar has been dragging on for the last ten years thanks to the slow pace of the Indian judiciary but the moment he was charge sheeted in the case he was asked by the command. http://cricketnext.in.com/news/narvekar-framed-in-fake-ticket-scam/32133-13.html
The recent controversy in which the former law minister has been embroiled has been the tampering of the birth date of his son Ganeshraj Narvekar. http://goanobserver.com/narvekar-stumped.html
But Goa police has been dragging its feet in registering a complaint lodged by Dr Shekar Salkar.
In a counter move which smacks of vindictiveness Salkar has been asked a thousand questions regarding his NGO.
Luizinho is also a “permanent” invitee to Goan Welfare Association Qatar Mayball dance he was here in 2006 and also last year
Luizinho who is now a permanent member of the Congress working committee in Delhi according to sources has cash deposits in Swiss banks.
Incidentally the former Navelim MLA who started off a labour leader in Zuari Agro Chemicals was one of Goa highest tax payers during the voluntary disclosure scheme introduced by the Income Tax department. How the labour leader who struggled to fill petrol in his Vespa scooter rose to be the highest tax payer there are no guesses for that.
Goan Welfare Association Qatar rival association Doha Goans Sports Club (DGSC), which was revived last year are also organizing a Mayball on May 5 in Doha.
When the last reports came in they had no plans to bring the Goan politicians to Qatar.
“We believe in giving the best show to Goans and Indians in Qatar. We have invited a few Bollywood personalities for the show including Tanushree Dutta and wish to complete the Goan experience with Black slades and Sharp, two Goan bands which will entertain the crowd during the evening, said one of the organizers of the show.
The mood setter Nelwyn Fernandes has also been flowed from Goa, and a lot of prizes await the beauty pageant winner.
DGSC was revived last year when five executive committee members of Goan Welfare Association Qatar resigned over the sorry state of affairs in the functioning of the Goan Welfare Association Qatar.
Antonio Vaz, Gill Cardozo, Lubino Soares, Mathew Estrocio and are now part of the DGSC
Giving the reasons for parting ways with Goan Welfare Association Qatar they said: “There was no transparency in the functioning of the association, no elections were held, membership to the Goan Welfare Association Qatar was at the whims and fancies of the president Simon D”silva. He was afraid to throw open the membership to Goans in Qatar as he feared that he will be overthrown in the elections.
How it works
MLA’s carry loads of foreign currency or Indian currency with them which often goes undetected. Once in a foreign country they try to open an account – If that is not possible owing to the local rules – They enter into a partnership with some Indian firms operating locally and invest the money. So then they can carry foreign currency into India and declare it as returns from their foreign business. Some MLA’s like Joaquim Alemao are travelling outside or remaining outside the country for more than 180 days to avail the provision of the Income Tax act where you become a non-resident Indian for remaining outside India for 180 days.
Another option is they hand over their black money to friends and ask them to deposit them in their accounts and pay them latter in Goa and the amount is shown as donation by the firend from a foreign country.
The Income Tax 180 days rule which is due to change from the next financial year.
In Monsoratte’s case the money he was carrying with him were not entirely his, but he was carrying out the operation for his other elected representatives and also some influential congress leaders from the south like Vijay Sardessai. That is the reason Vijay was very apprehensive after Babush was caught at the airport. And remember he drafted the press note giving the sequence of events leading to the questioning at the Mumbai airport, the press note which was released by Vijay before Babush or CM could read it in the house. The opposition disrupted proceedings and a possible breach of privilege motion against Babush fizzled out is another question.
The purpose was to invest in some business in Dubai.
A friend of the business man or MLA then approach prospective Goans assuring them of giving high returns for the local money (Dirham’s, dollars as the case may be). The MLA and his local agent then assure to pay the exchanged amount in Indian rupees to the local contact/family in Goa. The money paid in India as shown as expenses incurred for the services rendered by local Goan family member.