24 September, 2020

"Yes, We Entertain Politicians In Singapore"

It's the archetypal rags-to-riches story. In 1962, Muthukrishna Varatha Raja, a small-time businessman from Thanjavur dis -trict in Tamil Nadu, first started dabbling in the cashew trade with a Rs 3 lakh loan from Indian Bank. More than three decades

"Yes, We Entertain Politicians In Singapore"
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

It's the archetypal rags-to-riches story. In 1962, Muthukrishna Varatha Raja, a small-time businessman from Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu, first started dabbling in the cashew trade with a Rs 3 lakh loan from Indian Bank. More than three decades later, MVR, as he is referred to, self-admittedly controls 40 per cent of the world trade in cashews. With friends in high places and cutting across political parties, getting to the top hasn't been difficult for the Singapore-based NRI. But staying there may be difficult. Today, MVR owes Rs 375 crore to Indian Bank, his accounts have been frozen and the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (DOE) are hot on his trail. In a candid telephonic interview, the 57-year-old cashew magnate spoke to Charu Lata Joshi about his friends, foes and finances. Excerpts:

The CBI has charged you with defrauding Indian Bank of nearly Rs 400 crore and the DOE has also slapped a case for over-invoicing against you.

The main charge...

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