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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Raja, Kanimozhi summoned for money laundering

Avantika Mehta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 03, 2014
First Published: 00:12 IST(3/5/2014) | Last Updated: 01:05 IST(3/5/2014)

A Delhi court Friday summoned former telecom minister A Raja and member of Parliament Kanimozhi in a 2G money-laundering case on May 26, signalling more trouble for the DMK leaders already being tried in the spectrum-allocation scandal that rocked UPA 2.

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Besides the two, special judge OP Saini also summoned 17 others, including DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s wife and Kanimozhi’s stepmother Dayalu Ammal, saying “there is enough incriminating material” on record to proceed against them. If found guilty, the accused face a maximum seven years in jail.

On April 25, the enforcement directorate, which tracks overseas deals and economic offences, filed a charge sheet naming nine persons and 10 companies for allegedly laundering more than `200 crore.

Charged under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, the accused can be arrested on the day they appear before the court unless they seek bail. But for it to grant them bail, the court will have to be convinced that the accused are not guilty and if released, they won’t repeat the offence.

Kanimozhi had spent more than six months in jail after she was sent to judicial custody in May 2011 while Raja was released on bail after 15 months on May 15, 2012. The 2G trial is in an advanced stage, with statements of the accused being recorded.

Promoters of Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd directors Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, film producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar have been accused of being part of the money-laundering scheme. All except Amirtham and Dayalu Ammal are also being tried in the spectrum case. 

Firms named in the charge sheet are STPL, Kusegaon Realty Pvt Ltd (formerly Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd), Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (formerly Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd), Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, Dynamix Realty, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Constructions and Developers (P) Ltd, DB Realty Ltd (DB) and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd.

The agency, said counsel Raj Shekhar Rao, had enough evidence to prove that `200 crore was paid to DMK-run Kalaignar TV as a “bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies”. Dayalu Ammal has 60% stake in the channel while remaining 40% is equally split between Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar.

Raja misused his position as a telecom minister in UPA 1 to “assist” in laundering the money, the agency told the court.

The sum with additional amount was returned by Kalaignar TV to Dynamix Realty through Cineyug Films and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables to make the transactions look genuine. But surprisingly, the reverse trail of money started the day Raja was called in by the CBI for questioning in the spectrum case, the ED said.


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