Former telecom minister A Raja and some union government officials had held equity in Loop Telecom, as a consequence of which the firm secured 21 second generation (2G) spectrum licences in Unified Access Services (UAS), used for mobile telephony, a CBI official told HT.
Loop Telecom, a subsidiary of Vodafone Essar, had applied for licences to operate in 21 states on September 3, 2007. Its equity was held by five Mauritius-based companies, which are registered at the same business address. After Loop Telecom secured the licences on September 30, 2010, its equity holding was reorganised.
Currently, nine companies based in Mauritius hold equity in Loop.
Based on this information, the CBI has sent the Mauritius government a letter rogatory, seeking information about the individuals and companies that hold equity in Loop Telecom.
The letter rogatory says, "During investigation allegations have surfaced that one corporate group, which had a substantial stake in another telecommunications operator in many circles in India, was also holding the controlling stake in Loop Telecom… through Mauritius-based companies in violation of the UAS licence guidelines."
The investigating agency has prepared a list of 12 Mauritius-based companies which got 2G licences during Raja's tenure as telecom minister and whose stakeholders allegedly include union government officials.
The CBI has requested the Mauritius government to provide details of directors and representatives of the 12 Mauritius-based companies and their holding/subsidiary companies.
The agency has also sought details of beneficial owners of the equity capital in all the 12 companies, if the beneficiary owner is different from the nominee shareholder.