2G spectrum scam: Anil Ambani is now a suspect

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 18, 2011 02:00 IST

Anil Ambani, chairman of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), is now a suspect in the 2G scam, CBI sources have told HT. The investigators are not satisfied with his responses during the questioning session in the CBI headquarters here on Wednesday. An ADAG spokesperson, however, refused to reply to HT's queries on the issue.

As part of the CBI plan to question the bosses of all the companies that got UAS licences during former telecom minister A Raja's regime, the agency called Prashant Ruia, CEO and MD of Essar group, on Thursday.

Ruia was asked about the alleged role of his group in Loop Telecom that got licences in 21 circles in January 2008. Loop CEO Sandip Basu was already questioned in this regard.
The agency is also planning to question Kanimozhi, DMK Rajya Sabha member and daughter of party chief M Karunanidhi, as she holds a stake in Kalaignar TV, through which kickbacks were allegedly routed from a front company of Shahid Balwa, who is in CBI custody now for his alleged role in the scam.

According to sources, the CBI is considering framing a chargesheet against Ambani, but the agency wants to seek legal opinion first on Balwa-promoted Swan Telecom's —now Etisalat DB — association with ADAG before taking that step.

The investigating agency is also to decide whether Swan's ownership should be taken into account from March 2, 2007, when it applied for the unified access service (UAS) licence or from January 10, 2008, when it was issued the letters of intent.
The sources claimed that between these two dates, the ownership of Swan was transferred from ADAG to Vinod Goenka and Balwa of DB Realty.

When Ambani was brought face-to-face with Raja and Balwa during Wednesday's questioning, he claimed that his group had exited Swam Telecom when it got the UAS licence on January 10, 2008.
The sources also disclosed that Ambani was asked more than 50 questions on Wednesday on the shareholding pattern since the incorporation of Swan Capital — later renamed Swan Telecom — and the ownership transfer of the company to Balwa and Goenka.


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