Antrix-Devas deal: ED approaches US for transaction details



New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has approached American officials seeking details of transactions made to some individuals involved in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal.

The agency, which is probing the case under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), has got Letters Rogatories (LRs) issued to obtain details of some transactions made to a number of people in connection with the deal.

Sources privy to the development said the ED expects the US authorities to provide information of the monetary transactions made by a US-based firm to the people in Devas.

The ED has also decided to provide additional details to the US authorities so that they can provide the required information soon as proceedings under FEMA are not criminal but civil in nature, they said.

Besides, the officials there would also want to be very sure about legal requirements of the case before processing the ED request, the sources said.

"Once the US reply is available, the information would be corroborated with the remittances report that the agency has obtained from the RBI," they said.

Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, had signed a deal with Devas in January, 2005 to provide it crucial S-band wavelength which is primarily kept for strategic interests of the country.

The spectrum was meant for operating digital multimedia service by leasing 90 per cent transponders on two satellites - GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A.

After complaints of irregularities in the deal, the government had scrapped the contract in 2010 and ordered an enquiry by a review committee.

The committee, in its investigation, had found uneven shareholding patterns and rise in capital in Devas between its inception in December, 2004 and March, 2010.

The company was established by Forge Advisors-USA with a share capital of Rs one lakh. The ED has not found any money laundering instances in its probe carried out till now.

PTI