The Enforcement Directorate (ED), conducting a probe into the 2005 deal between defence PSU Antrix Corporation Limited (ACL) and Devas Multimedia Private Limited (DMPL), is set to register a case under the anti-money laundering act.
This would enable the agency seek crucial assistance from the United States. The agency’s move is in response to a communication from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to it, according to which it can provide assistance to only probes into criminal offences.
The DoJ’s response came in the wake of the fact that ED’s current probe is being conducted only under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) that covers civil offences, for which the latter cannot seek details from the US as per the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between the two countries, said a source.
There are three multi-crore transactions under the ED scanner involving foreign-based firms, including one based in the US. The transactions involved alleged payment of premium to the Indian firm for “issuance of preference shares, which appeared disproportionate to the assets or revenues of the Indian firm,” said the source.