Aircel-Maxis: Two accused firms received Rs 742.58 cr 'proceeds of crime', says ED

The agency claimed that "proceeds of crime" amounting to Rs 549.03 crore and Rs 193.55 crore were received by the firms.
Aircel-Maxis: Two accused firms received Rs 742.58 cr 'proceeds of crime', says ED
Aircel-Maxis: Two accused firms received Rs 742.58 cr 'proceeds of crime', says ED
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The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday told the special 2G court that there were money transactions which allegedly showed that Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) and South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL) received Rs 742.58 crore as "proceeds of crime" from Mauritius-based firms in Aircel-Maxis deal related money laundering case.

The court has fixed February 20 when it will further hear arguments on the point of taking cognisance.

The agency claimed before Special CBI Judge O P Saini that "proceeds of crime" amounting to Rs 549.03 crore and Rs 193.55 crore were received by SDTPL and SAFL, allegedly controlled by co-accused Kalanithi Maran, respectively through various Mauritius-based entities.

N K Matta, special prosecutor for Enforcement Directorate (ED), referred to the details of the money transactions between these firms and alleged that SDTPL had received a total of Rs 549.03 crore from Mauritius-based company M/s South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd.

He said that company secretary of SDTPL had declared about these remittances to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

"CBI has alleged in its charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis deal case that bribe money was received and our (ED's) case relates to the money trail," he told the court.

After the prosecutor referred to the money transactions, the judge asked the agency, "These are all allegations. Where is the evidence for this?" 

Responding to the court's query, the prosecutor read out the statements of the prosecution witnesses recorded during the investigation and also relevant documents pertaining to the money transactions.

The court, after hearing the submissions, said that it is a complicated case so it would hear arguments on the next date of hearing before passing any order on taking cognisance on the ED's charge sheet filed in the case.

"This is a very complex and complicated case. There is no urgency so one more hearing is required to pass an order," the judge said, adding, "Arguments on the point of cognisance heard. Since records of the case are voluminous, put up for further arguments on February 20." 

ED has chargesheeted former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran, his wife Kavery Kalanithi, K Shanmugam, Managing Director of SAFL and two firms SDTPL and SAFL as accused in the case filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

ED had earlier alleged before the court that Dayanidhi had generated funds worth Rs 742.58 crore through illegal means and there was sufficient prima facie material to proceed against him and other accused in the case.

It had claimed that Dayanidhi had obtained "illegal gratification" of Rs 742.58 crore and the money was "parked" in the firms of Kalanithi by projecting it as untainted.

The agency had also alleged that Kalanithi was controlling both the firms, SDTPL and SAFL, where the money was infused through Mauritius-based companies.

ED had claimed that it was ascertaining the route of Rs 742.58 crore allegedly laundered for which Letters Rogatory have been issued to concerned authorities in United Kingdom, Mauritius, Singapore and Malaysia.

In August 2014, the CBI too had chargesheeted the Maran brothers, Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan, Malaysian national Augustus Ralph Marshall and four companies -- Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, Maxis Communication Berhad, South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd and Astro All Asia Network PLC -- in the case.

CBI had alleged in the court that Dayanidhi had "pressured" and "forced" Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary companies to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.

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