Supreme Court [of Mauritius] has allowed the investigation to be carried out in the manner specified in the LR sent by Indian agencies
In a major step forward in the ongoing probe into the 2G scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Monday that the Supreme Court of Mauritius has directed the island nation’s Attorney-General to provide all information sought by it through letter rogatory (LR).
“The Supreme Court has allowed the investigation to be carried out in the manner specified in the letter rogatory sent by the Indian agencies,’’ CBI sources said. They said the next step would be gathering of information from the custodians of information which may include fund managers and banks. Hopefully, the information would be available by June-end, the sources indicated.
A four-member team — two each from the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED)— is in Mauritius as part of its efforts to gather information about the antecedents of Delphi Investment, which had purchased Reliance Communications’ 9.9% stake in Swan Telecom as also to track the source of funding of Loop Telecom.
The order by the Supreme Court of Mauritius on May 27 was described by the CBI officials as a “major step forward” in the probe that ultimately aims at unraveling the identity of owners and funding of some of the major beneficiaries during the regime of the former Telecom Minister A. Raja, now lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail for the past three months.
On the trail of uncovering the money laundering, the ED is also likely to send its team to Cyprus, Singapore and the U.K. The team is likely to be accompanied by some CBI officers as well. The effort would be to uncover the maze of companies who were reportedly behind some of the major telecom players which were allocated 2G licences and spectrum during Mr. Raja’s tenure as telecom minister.
The sources said that very little is known about Delphi Investment apart from the fact that it was a subsidiary of another firm - Mavi Investment Fund, which is said to be incorporated in Mauritius as a private company.
The LR, sent by the CBI, said that in December 2007 — after obtaining the dual technology licence —Reliance Communications sold its entire equity of 1.07 crore shares (9.9%) held by its subsidiary Reliance Telecom in Swan to Delphi Investment, Port Louis, Mauritius.
“After getting the information and the evidence gathered in Mauritius, we will plan further action. It will add value to the evidence relating to the wider conspiracy in the 2G scam,” CBI officials said.
As many as 15 companies in Mauritius are under the scanner of the CBI and ED. Though the sources clarified that they were not into the process of “company audit”, the two investigating agencies were examining the shareholding patterns of these companies as well as their investment records.
The CBI is scheduled to submit the progress report of the 2G scam investigation before the Supreme Court on July 6 as the Supreme Court is monitoring the premier investigation agency’s probe into the country’s biggest scam.