Indian tycoon accused of corporate fraud in Australia

Pankaj Oswal, an Indian-origin tycoon, has been accused of one of Australia’s biggest corporate frauds. According to court documents, he is charged for siphoning an additional 113 million dollars out of his Perth-based Burrup Fertilisers.

The receivers PPB Advisory, on behalf of Burrup Fertilisers, filed a ‘Further Amended Statement of Claim’ in the WA Federal Court in July. The claim was heard last week in court.

The receivers are seeking repayment of additional USD 115 million on top of USD 95 million demanded to be re-paid in March.

The extra funds allegedly taken out of Burrup Fertilisers, which operates one of the world’s biggest ammonia producers in the Pilbara, takes the claim against Oswal to USD 210 million, The Australian newspaper reported.

PPB Advisory alleged Oswal transferred money from his part-owned Burrup Fertilisers to his private companies, many registered in Singapore, either through the use of inflated invoices or direct transfers.

However, Oswal strongly denied the allegations and said this is another claim by the receiver, which has no merit.

“It is a smokescreen to take the spotlight off PPB’s disastrous handling of the Gas Sales Agreement which has destroyed shareholder value and opened up PPB and its lawyers to massive damages claims,” he said.

Oswal previously claimed that he was entitled to funnel money into his private companies as payment for guaranteeing cost overruns during construction of Burrup’s ammonia plant.