Is Keith Vaz, a British MP of Goan origin, being investigated for making illegal earnings of half-a-million pounds? While Britain's leading mainline newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, said as much, sources in the Scotland Yard told Times of India(TOI) that £500,000 of "suspicious nature" were paid into various bank accounts held by Vaz over the last six years, the Times of India reported.
Keith Vaz has been constantly accusing Sri Lanka , vociferously repeating LTTE slogans in the parliament and recently brought pressure on the British government to appoint an independent investigator into the human rights record of Sri Lanka which the Sri Lanka government has angrily rejected. He is a close associate of the LTTE front, the British Tamil Forum and heads the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Tamils , which is carrying on a virulent campaign against Sri Lanka .
When contacted by the Times of India, Vaz strenuously denied wrongdoing. Pressed for an official comment, Scotland Yard's spokesman told TOI, "It would not be appropriate for the Metropolitan Police Service to comment on any individual's historic financial investigations that may or may not have been conducted."
"These weren't suspicious in any way," Vaz said. "They relate to the sale of a family home in London, the purchase of a new family home and a drawdown of equity from my bank."
The pro-Conservative party Daily Telegraph claimed the source of the funds was not declared publicly and the evidence gathered by the police may contradict assurances given by Vaz during the earlier investigation into his finances between 2000 and 2001.
"These matters relate to two parliamentary inquiries which began in 1999 and concluded in 2003," he said. "My finances were discussed by every newspaper in the country for a period of three years and were the subject of extensive examination."
Vaz added, "All ministers (and he was a minister then) have to report all their financial interests to their permanent secretary, which I did. I had no discussions with the then cabinet secretary or the then prime minister about any of these issues. I know of no investigation."
Vaz resigned as minister for Europe in 2001 in Tony Blair's government and was never re-appointed. The immediate cause of his stepping down was an allegation that he had received money from the billionaire Hinduja family relating to an application for a British passport by one of the brothers.
The MP, who has a high profile role as chairman of the House of Commons' select committee on home affairs, was investigated by the parliamentary commissioner for standards between 2000 and 2001. He was cleared of receiving illicit funds. As chairman of the select committee, Vaz has been putting the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat government through tough scrutiny. His wife, Maria Fernandes, has also been dragged into the controversy.
Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative MP told media Vaz had "questions to answer". He continued,: "I feel that he cannot continue to hold his role with the home affairs select committee during an investigation and call on him to stand down."