New Delhi: Last week, a full-page advertisement appeared in several newspapers with the following deal — buy an apartment in an upcoming Trump Towers property in Gurugram and you could get to win a chance to fly in a MiG-29 jet fighter aircraft in Russia, drive a Lamborghini sports car or avail a free golf lesson.
The matter came to light when Soutik Biswas, India correspondent, and Features & Analysis Editor at BBC News, recently tweeted a picture of the advertisement which promised potential buyers an “enthralling flying experience” in a MiG-29 at the “edge of space” in Russia.
If you buy a Trump Towers apartment in Delhi and suburbs you will get an ‘enthralling flying experience’ in a MIG-29 at the ‘edge of space, Russia,’ according to full page adverts in today’s morning papers. #Trump pic.twitter.com/D6v3fHAUtK
— Soutik Biswas (@soutikBBC) September 19, 2021
The Trump Organization, the New York-based business venture of former US president Donald Trump, launched its real estate project in India in 2018 — a year after Trump became president. The Trump Tower, a 664-foot-tall skyscraper in New York City, serves as the headquarters for the Trump Organization.
The project in Gurugram is being jointly developed by M3M India Pvt. Ltd and Tribeca Developers, the official representative of the Trump Organization in India, according to a report in Live Mint earlier this year.
An apartment at this 47-storeyed property ranges between Rs 7-11.5 crore, and is expected to complete construction in 1-2 years, a Tribeca spokesperson told ThePrint.
To stand a chance to win the freebies, the potential buyer must invest 15 per cent in an apartment, the rest of which they must pay after possession, according to the advertisement.
Buyers offered ‘dinner and chat’ with Donald Trump Jr in 2018
In February 2018, several Indian newspapers ran a full-page advertisement promoting a deal whereby anyone who purchased an apartment at the Trump Towers in Gurugram would be invited to have a “conversation and dinner” with Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr, the eldest son of the former president, who serves as the executive vice president at the Trump Organization, was at the time visiting India to promote the Trump Towers development near Delhi.
The advertisement featured a picture of Trump Jr and text that read: “Trump is here. Are you invited?” and “Trump has arrived. Have you?”
The advertisement was criticised by several social media users, including historian Patrick French who called it an “abominable invitation”.
For the last however many days every newspaper in India has been wrapped in this abominable invitation to dinner with Trump Jr. pic.twitter.com/HXub9Hrpte
— Patrick French (@PatrickFrench) February 18, 2018
Ahead of his presidential inauguration, Trump ceded control of the organisation to his sons, Eric and Trump Jr. However, the ethics of such offers were criticised given that they were the sons of the president.
Earlier in 2018, when a similar arrangement promoted by Tribeca and M3M in 2018 offered to fly buyers to New York to meet Trump Jr, the former Obama corruption watchdog, Norman L. Eisen, called it an “ethics atrocity”.
“Access to the first family should not be for sale,” Eisen had said.
(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)