Maran brothers, others chargesheeted in Aircel-Maxis PMLA case

Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and four others were today charge-sheeted by Enforcement Directorate in a special court in the Aircel-Maxis deal-related money laundering case.

PTI| Updated: Jan 08, 2016, 20:52 PM IST
Maran brothers, others chargesheeted in Aircel-Maxis PMLA case

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and four others were Friday charge-sheeted by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a special court in the Aircel-Maxis deal-related money laundering case.

ED named Dayanidhi, Kalanithi, his wife Kavery Kalanithi, K Shanmugam, Managing Director of M/s South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL), and two companies -- M/s Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) and SAFL -- as accused in the case filed under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

It alleged that proceeds of crime worth Rs 742.58 crore was paid by the Mauritius-based companies for Dayanidhi in the two firms, SDTPL and SAFL.

"The investigation under PMLA was taken up and it revealed that proceeds of crime of Rs 742.58 crore was paid by the companies based in Mauritius for Dayanidhi Maran, in the two companies namely SDTPL and SAFL," it said in a press note.

The ED alleged that the two firms were owned and controlled by Kalanithi and the money had been utilised by the companies in their business.

The charge sheet was filed before Special CBI Judge O P Saini who fixed it for consideration on January 18.

ED said it had attached assets held by Dayanidhi, Kalanithi, Kavery and others equivalent to amount of proceeds of crime of Rs 742.58 crore under the PMLA.

It also claimed that Dayanidhi had obtained Rs 742.58 crore through companies of his relatives by "camouflaging the proceeds of crime as capital contribution in SDTPL and SAFL" and committed the offence of money laundering in receiving the amount in the companies owned and controlled by his brother Kalanithi and sister-in-law Kavery.

Detailing the roles of the accused, the agency said their probe has revealed that promoters of SDTPL are Kalanithi and Kavery who were holding 80 per cent shares of the firm.

"SDTPL is owned and controlled by Kalanithi Maran and Kavery Kalanithi being shareholders and in the Board of Directors as Chairman and Director respectively," it said.

It said SDTPL had received "proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 549.03 crore for Dayanidhi Maran in the guise of foreign investment", which has been consumed by the company in its business.

ED said that shareholders of SAFL were M/s Sun TV Network Ltd, which holds 60 percent stake, while M/s A H Multisoft Pvt Ltd and M/s South Asia Multimedia Technologies Ltd, Mauritius, held 20 per cent shares each.

Detailing the shareholding pattern of the firms, ED said Kalanithi held 75 percent share of Sun TV Network. Kalanithi and Kavery also held 90 and 10 percent shares respectively in a firm M/s Kal Comm Pvt Ltd.

Regarding Shanmugam, who was responsible for managing the affairs of SAFL as Managing Director, ED said "he signed the agreement for SAFL as authorised signatory with SAMTL on August 29, 2007 and January 10, 2008 in receiving proceeds of crime of Rs 193.55 crore in guise of capital contribution".

"He (Shanmugam) was the person responsible for the day to day affairs of SAFL. He knowingly assisted in money laundering process," the agency added.

ED alleged that SAFL was involved in "receiving, parking, projecting as untainted and utilising proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 193.55 crore" and has committed the offence of money laundering under the PMLA.

Regarding the investigation pertaining to involvement of foreign persons and others, it said the probe was still being carried out on this and other aspects. As and when investigation would be complete in respect of foreign individuals and entities, a supplementary complaint would be filed, the investigating agency said.

"The aspects of ongoing investigation, inter-alia, in this matter are receipt and transfer of funds in and outside India from Aircel Televentures Ltd (ATVL) and Maxis, directly and indirectly to the suspected Indian entities for which this court has issued Letters of Request on December 1, 2015 under Section 57 of PMLA to Singapore and UK for investigation outside India," it said in the press note.

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