As part of its 2008 2G spectrum scam probe, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is set to send three formal requests — letters rogatories — (LRs) to several countries to seek help in identifying the recipient of a suspected Rs 205 crore bribe given via their corporate and banking channels.
“The LRs will be sent to the legal authorities concerned in the UK, Mauritius and Isle of Man via a Delhi special court,” said a CBI source. “The CBI suspects that the bribe was given by an associate firm of an Indian private telecom firm that was chargesheeted as an accused in the 2G spectrum scam last year to an individual who is this scam’s prime accused. The bribe was in lieu of favours granted in the award of telecom licences and spectrum,” said the source.
“A fortnight before the 122 letters of intents for telecom licences and spectrum were to be awarded, the accused telecom firm had transferred a sum of around $ 51 million to its subsidiary, handling overseas operations, on December 26, 2007,” said the source. “On January 5, 2008, the firm issued a transfer advice to the overseas arm to invest the money in derivatives of a shady Mauritius-based shell firm, Pluri Emerging Companies Cell.”
The investment was allegedly transacted through a London-based bank. The CBI has found it “suspicious and odd” that the investment was linked to the performance of the shady Mauritius-based firm without any capital guarantee. “A year after the investment, the worth of the investment became zero in March 2009. We want to know from the authorities in UK and Mauritius the recipient of the suspected bribe.”