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Raja, others arranged proceeds of crime for KTV: ED officer

New Delhi: A special court hearing the money laundering case arising out of the 2G scam was today told by a top ED official that ex-Telecom Minister A Raja in association with DMK chief M
PTI November 20, 2014 7:11 IST
PTI

New Delhi: A special court hearing the money laundering case arising out of the 2G scam was today told by a top ED official that ex-Telecom Minister A Raja in association with DMK chief M Karunanidhi's wife, daughter and others had arranged the "proceeds of crime" to park it in Kalaignar TV.

Deposing as a prosecution witness in the case, Enforcement Directorate's (ED) Joint Director Himanshu Kumar Lal told Special CBI Judge O P Saini that Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Dayalu Ammal and others had parked the money in Kalaignar TV for the "illegal favour" given to Shahid Balwa-promoted Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) by Raja in granting UAS licences.

"A Raja, in association with other accused, Kanimozhi Karunanithi, M K Dayalu and others, arranged the proceeds of crime from Shahid Usman Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Rajiv Agarwal, Asif Balwa and other accused mentioned in the complaint to be parked in Kalaignar TV (P) Ltd for the illegal favour granted to STPL by him in granting UAS Licences.

"He (Raja) was also actually involved in the reverse flow of the proceeds of crime from Kalaignar TV (P) Ltd to Dynamix Realty through Cineyug Films (P) Ltd and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables(P) Ltd and projection of tainted money as untainted through many purported documents like share subscriptions agreement, pledging of shares etc," Lal said on being asked by ED's prosecutor N K Matta to explain Raja's role in the case.

Besides Raja, Kanimozhi and Dayalu, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and 14 others, including nine companies, are facing trial in the case in which ED has named 30 persons as prosecution witnesses.

On October 31, the court had put on trial the 19 accused -- 10 individuals and nine companies -- under PMLA after they had pleaded not guilty and said they will face the trial for the charges against them.

The court had framed charges against the accused, saying that Raja, allegedly in "connivance" with Kanimozhi, Dayalu Ammal and other co-accused, was involved in "parking" of illegal gratification of Rs 200 crore in DMK-run Kalaignar TV.

If convicted, Raja and others will face jail term of up to seven years.

Lal, who is also complainant in the case, said Aseervatham Achary, a witness in the 2G case probed by CBI, and former Additional Private Secretary to A Raja, had pointed out in his statement to ED that Raja took extra efforts to get licences cleared for Kalaignar TV from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Lal, whose examination-in-chief remained inconclusive and would continue tomorrow, also explained the role of various other accused, including Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka.

Regarding Shahid Balwa's role, the ED officer said he was also the director promoter of DB Group companies and he got UAS Licences through "undue" favour from Raja.

Balwa arranged bribe money from DB group companies to be parked in Kalaignar TV through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables (P) Ltd and Cineyug Films (P) Ltd, Lal said, adding that the accused was involved in the reverse flow of the proceeds of crime.

Lal further deposed that accused Rajiv Agarwal, director of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables (P) Ltd, in his statement has expressed that the company does not have any business of its own except transferring the amount of Rs 200 crore to Cineyug Films (P) Ltd.

The court commenced the trial in the money laundering case on November 17 and Lal is the first prosecution witness to be examined in the matter.

Lal had earlier told the court that he had gone through the FIR and charge sheets filed by CBI in 2G spectrum allocation case and had also read the statements recorded by ED's IOs under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and other relevant documents before filing complaint in the case.

While framing charges against the accused, the court had observed there was enough material on record which made out a "prima facie" case against the accused who were chargesheeted by ED on April 25 for committing an offence under PMLA.

This is the second case in the 2G scam in which Raja, Kanimozhi and others, including Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka, are facing trial for their alleged roles in the scam.

The other co-accused in the case are Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar and its Director P Amirtham and Bollywood producer Karim Morani. All of them are out on bail.

The court had also framed charges against accused firms -- Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Kusegaon Realty Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd), Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd), Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, Dynamix Realty, DB Realty Ltd, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Constructions and Developers (P) Ltd and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd.

ED had, in its charge sheet, alleged that all the accused were involved in the Rs 200-crore money transaction which was "not bonafide" and it was a "bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies" by Raja.

The court had, in its order framing charges against the accused, said the entire amount to the tune of Rs 223.55 crore was in fact the "proceeds of crime".

In the first case probed by CBI, Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Agarwal, Morani and Sharad Kumar, along with nine others, are facing trial for alleged criminal breach of trust, conspiracy, forgery, cheating and other offences punishable under IPC and Prevention of Corru