While taxmen are still puzzled over the background of T M Ramalingam from whose modest house in rural Dharapuram they netted their highest catch of $5 million worth US Treasury Bonds (`27,000-odd crore) three days ago; it has emerged that the man is also facing a small-time cheating case in Tirupur district.
According to sources in the Dharapuram police station, Ramalingam’s former agricultural products business partner Kaliyaperumal of Mannargudi had lodged a cheating complaint against him in 2011.
Kaliyaperumal had alleged that Ramalingam entered into an agreement with him to sell a piece of land measuring 9.5 cents (4,142 sq ft) for `4 lakh and obtained `3.9 lakh as advance payment. Although the agreement period of 24 months lapsed, he failed to transfer ownership of the property.
“That is the only case pending against him. We have not come across any other criminal activities involving him. Nor was he active in social or business circles here,” a police officer told Express. However, Ramalingam refused to comment on the case. In a related development, Income Tax officers have summoned the 46-year old bespectacled man to Chennai on Friday for interrogation. Amidst the hype surrounding him, Ramalingam is unperturbed and unusually composed.
While on Wednesday he had given varying accounts to different media organisations on the seizure made at his house by the IT Department, on Thursday he told Express that he will come clean of all allegations.
“I am under scrutiny because they suspect that I am involved in abnormal business activities. I will face it legally and come out unscathed. I shall face all the charges with a smile,” he quipped.
Reiterating that he had plans to establish `1.5 lakh crore worth petroleum refinery in Ramanathapuram district, he said the proposed refinery was named after his school-going son “Bharanidharan”. His daughter too is in school, while his wife takes care of his home.
Sources said that apart from dealing in financial securities, copra and groundnuts, Ramalingam also had varied business interests including real estate.
But none of the dealings were big enough to make heads turn. “From what we have learnt, he had purchased five T-Bonds, each worth $1 billion from Dubai through a mediator 15 months ago. The IT Department is not forthcoming in sharing more information,” a State intelligence wing officer said.
Sources said that IT sleuths had also seized 703 grams gold jewels and 5.7 kg silver articles from his house. On charges that Ramalingam had liquidated some Chinese gold bonds to purchase the US T Bonds through a Tiruchi-based man, Ramalingam said “I can’t speak much on this because the matter is being inquired into by the IT Department.”