Aircel-Maxis PMLA case: Court to consider ED's charge sheet

A special 2G court will tomorrow consider ED's charge sheet filed against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and four others in the Aircel-Maxis deal related money laundering case.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed the charge sheet on January 8 after which special CBI judge O P Saini had fixed the matter for tomorrow for consideration.

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 the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The agency has also told the court that further probe relating to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal and related issues are subject of further investigation under the PMLA. The approval was given when P Chidambaram was Finance Minister in 2006.

The charge sheet 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," the charge sheet said.

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

It said that 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.

In August 2014, the CBI too had named 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 a charge sheet in the case.

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