New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) may send a joint team to Cyprus and Mauritius to follow the money trail linking those allegedly involved in wrongdoing in the allocation of second-generation (2G) telecom spectrum.
According to top officials of both agencies, such a team may be sent in the first week of April.
“We suspect that some beneficiaries have routed kickbacks to these countries under the guise of investments,” a high-ranking official said on condition of anonymity. “The CBI sent the letter rogatory to Mauritius and ED to Cyprus. The team will expedite the process of getting information from both countries.”
Another top official, who also didn’t want to be named, said: “The letters rogatory have been also sent to other countries like Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. But we have strong suspicion that most of the kickback money was routed to Mauritius and Cyprus only.” The officials did not rule out sending requests for information to other countries.
ED, which is probing money laundering in the 2G case, suspects that one of the companies that got spectrum in 2008 may have routed “bribes through 22 of its subsidiaries registered in Cyprus by way of loan, equity and investments,” said one of the officials cited above.
“We have in our possession, documents indicating that the huge sum of money has been parked in Cyprus. The registration of all these companies is in the same address is suspicious,” a senior ED official said on condition of anonymity,
“All the companies under investigation have a subsidiary in Mauritius. We have sent requests for information and are yet to receive a response,” this official said. “However, we are informed that certain details of Mauritius companies are available for physical examination by paying nominal fees.”