Till recently, Radha Satish Timblo, owner of mining firm Timblo Enterprises, was leading a quiet life in Goa. The government’s revelation on Monday that she is one of those to have stashed black money in Switzerland has surprised everyone in the state, including those from the Timblo family.
That’s because only a few years ago, Timblo was one of the highest taxpayers in the state and charges of tax evasion were seldom associated with the group. The group owns the luxurious Cidade De Goa resort in Goa. It was also a bottler for Pepsi in the state and had switched sides after Coke tried to buy it out in 1997.
Asked about her account in Switzerland, Timblo, well known for her political connections in the Goa Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told reporters she would offer a proper explanation and issue a press note after studying the government’s affidavit to the Supreme Court.
In a statement late Monday evening, the Association of Democratic Reforms said its analysis of donations by individuals and companies to national political parties between 2004-05 and 2011-12 showed Timblo Pvt Ltd, led by its managing director Radha Timblo, had made donations to BJP on nine occasions and thrice to the Congress.
An email sent to Timblo did not elicit any response. Her office said it would respond to the email, in case there was a reply from her.
“The family is, like the Dempos and the Salgoakars, which made their fortunes with mining, one of the old, rich ones in Goa. The family is close to the Congress and its net worth will easily be more than Rs 1,000 crore,” said a Mumbai-based chief executive, on condition of anonymity. Like most of Goa’s business families, the Timblos owned mines, resorts, hotels and football clubs in the state, he added.
This isn’t the first time Timblo is making news for the wrong reasons. According to a centrally empowered committee (CEC) report on illegal mining in Goa, in December 2012, Timblo had taken ownership of a mining lease in Goa illegally, by using power of attorney from a certain Badrudin Hussain Bhai Mavani, a resident of Pakistan.
Mavani is alleged to have died in Karachi. The CEC report said Mavani’s signature doesn’t match the signature on another power of attorney document signed in 1979.
“The mining lease has been allowed to be operated illegally, by a partnership firm comprising Timblo Pvt Ltd, Radha S Timblo and others. The mining lease has been renewed … by disregarding and in blatant violation of rule 37, MCR, 1960, and on the basis of an unregistered power of attorney, stated to have been executed by the lessee while staying in Pakistan and whose genuineness and validity were highly dubious and doubtful,” the report said.
Soon after, the Supreme Court shut mines in Goa and asked the state government to auction those.