Marans face money laundering charges
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is all set to file money laundering charges against former telecom and textile minister Dayanidhi Maran, his businessman brother Kalanidhi and Malaysian billionaire and promoter of Maxis Communications T Ananda Krishna in connection with the Aircel-Maxis deal.
The ED will file an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) under which the probe agency can initiate proceedings of attachment of properties acquired through proceeds of crime and file a separate charge sheet also.
The ECIR will also name Maxis Communications director Ralph Marshall and three companies — Sun Direct TV Private Limited, Astro All Asia Networks and Maxis Communications — as accused in the case.
Entrepreneur C Sivasankaran has alleged that Dayanidhi Maran as telecom minister between 2004 and 2007 delayed grant of licence to Aircel in seven circles with the intention to force its exit from the business by constricting its business environment. However, when Malaysia-based Maxis group bought Aircel, its all applications for licences and other approvals were accepted.
The ECIR will allege that Sivasankaran repeatedly requested for appointments with Maran in 2005 for addressing his grievances, but he declined to meet him.
However, after the change of ownership, Astro All Asia Networks Plc (related company of Maxis Communications) invested in Dayanidhi's brother Kalanidhi Maran's company, Sun Direct TV Private Limited, at a premium of around Rs550 crore.
The CBI is also investigating the Aircel-Maxis deal under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The ED probe is going to focus on assets acquired through proceeds of crime in the case.