Aircel-Maxis deal: ED questions Kalanithi Maran again

 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday questioned Sun TV network Chairman Kalanithi Maran in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday questioned Sun TV network Chairman Kalanithi Maran in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

This is the second round of questioning of the businessman by the agency in the case in the last one month.

Kalanithi and his brother and former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran were questioned by the agency in the same case in December last year.

Dayanidhi is expected to be questioned again in the case in the coming days.

"Kalanithi was questioned by the agency for few hours in connection with the Aircel-Maxis deal. His statement was recorded under relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," sources said.

The Chief Financial Officer of the said media channel was also questioned today, they said.

The brothers, earlier, have been questioned about their personal and official financial dealings and on specific charges related to the deal.

Questioning of the Marans is being done in quick succession, sources said, as the ED is expected to issue an attachment order for seizing of assets of an estimated value of over Rs 700 crore in this case and all questions regarding criminal actions had to be answered by the accused.

Other executives involved in the deal are also being questioned by the agency.

The ED is probing the case based on a CBI FIR in the matter.

Besides the Maran brothers, the CBI has named Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan, Malaysian national Augustus Ralph Marshall and four firms ? Sun Direct TV, Maxis Communication Berhad, Astro All Asia Network and South Asia Entertainment Holding ? as accused.

CBI has charged them with the offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

CBI had alleged in the court that Dayanidhi Maran 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.

The ED's money laundering case is based on this.

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