Malaysian billionaire Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan and three others are wanted by India’s Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) for an ongoing money laundering case in New Delhi.
According to a report by The New Indian Express via The Star, the CBI had applied to issue arrest warrants against Ananda, Maxis Communication Berhad, Astro All Asia Network and its chief executive Augustus Ralph Marshall. Ananda is the founder of both Maxis and Astro.
It said the arrest warrants were over the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case involving former Telecoms Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi. The CBI explained that the arrest warrants were sought as summons were not served on the accused.
The Enforcement Directorate had, on May 25, 2016, issued summons under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for examining Ananda. The following day, according to the report, a summons was issued to examine Marshall. Both the summons were sent to Malaysia through the Ministry of Home Affairs, the report said.
In August 2014, the CBI charged the Maran brothers, Ananda, Marshall and the four companies in the case.
Dayanidhi had allegedly “pressured” and “forced” Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary companies to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006. Maxis had denied the allegations, saying all its dealings had been in compliance with India’s laws.
CBI had told the same court that Malaysian authorities were not “cooperating” in the service of summons against the four.
According to a report in The Hindu, the CBI said the Indian High Commission and Ministry of Home Affairs had tried on three occasions to get the summons served on Ananda, Marshall and the two firms but that they had not received any positive response from Malaysian authorities.
It is alleged that Dayanidhi had obtained “illegal gratification” of Rs742.58 crore (RM451 million) and the money was “parked” in the firms of his brother Kalanithi.
The Aircel-Maxis case is related to a money laundering case that revolves around what has come to be known in India as the 2G spectrum scam in which politicians and government officials allegedly undercharged mobile phone companies for frequency allocation licences which they then used to create 2G spectrum subscriptions for cell phones.
As a result, the CBI had alleged, the Indian government lost USD4.6 billion.