ONGC, Samsung on Money Laundering Shores

ONGC Petro additions Limited (OPaL), a private joint venture company was incorporated in year 2006, by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), with 26 per cent and 5 per cent stakes respectively. Later, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) also acquired a 19 per cent stake in OPaL. This Special Purpose Vehicle was created to build the largest Petrochemical Complex in Dahej. In order to build this mega plant,OPaL gave the contract for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) to Samsung Engineering Ltd of Korea.

Controversy around OPAL

ONGC’s name surfaced in the controversies when the Enforcement Directorate started investigating the financial transactions of Sanjay Bhandari, Arms dealer and alleged close aide of Robert Vadra, Husband of Priyanka Gandhi, General Secretary of Indian National Congress.
Samsung Engineering Ltd, which had hired Bhandari’s UAE-based consultancy firm Santech International FZC for consultancy services. After the award of the contract in December, 2008, Samsung paid USD 49.9 lakh to Santech on June 13, 2009

It is important to note that Bhandari was the person who sold the London property to Skylight FZE at the same price it bought despite incurring renovation expenses to the tune of GBP 65,000.

Directors of Samsung Engineering

Samsung Engineering was represented by the following individuals in India. All of the individuals are Korean nationals.

  • HEESANG YOO
  • DONGWOOK SHIN
  • IN SUK HWANG
  • SUNGJAE KIM
  • HYUN IL KIM
  • HYUNG SANG YOU
  • EUL CHEONG HONG

Role of these Korean professionals is however not clear in this deal.