Aircel-Maxis: ED charge sheets Dayanidhi Maran, others

New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday filed a charge sheet against former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran and five others involved in a money laundering case related to the Aircel-Maxis deal.

The charge sheet was filed before Special Judge O.P. Saini, who has fixed January 18 for further hearing. ED has named Maran, his brothers Kalanithi Maran, Kalanithi's wife Kavery Kalanithi, company South Asia FM Ltd. (SAFL) and its managing director K. Shanmugam and firm Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd. (SDTPL) for money laundering of Rs.742.58 crore.

It was alleged that Dayanidhi Maran influenced a Malaysian businessman to buy Aircel by coercing its owner Sivasankaran to part with his stake. The ED has booked the accused under various charges dealing with money laundering. The investigation has revealed that Rs.742.58 crore was paid to Dayanidhi Maran by Mauritius based companies.

The money was paid to SDTPL and SAFL, both of which are owned and controlled by Kalanithi Maran. The money was utilised by the two companies in their business, ED said. The probe revealed that promoters of the SDTPL are Kalanithi Maran and Kavery Kalanithi.

"Dayanidhi Maran obtained the proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs.742.58 crore through the companies of his relatives by camouflaging the proceeds of crime as capital contribution in SDTPL and SAFL and has committed the offence of money laundering in receiving the said proceeds of crime in the said companies owned and controlled by his brother, Kalanithi Maran and Kavery Kalanithi," the investigation report said.

It added that Shanmugam was responsible for managing affairs of SAFL as managing director who assisted in money laundering process. In this case of illegal gratification to Dayanidhi Maran, investigation under PMLA of Maxis, Berhad Malaysia, T. Ananda Krishnan, Augustus Ralph Marshall, South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd (SAEHL), Mauritius, South Asia Software Technology Ltd (SASTL), Mauritius, South Asia Multimedia Technology Ltd, Mauritius (SAMTL) and Astro All Asia Networks Plc, Britain (Astro) is being carried out by sending Letter of Request to Mauritius and Malaysia, the ED stated. The execution reports are awaited from these countries, it added.

Investigation pertaining to involvement of the foreign nationals and others was still being carried out, while further investigation was also being conducted related to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in Aircel-Maxis feal and other issues, it said.

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