A court in New Delhi, India, today issued arrest warrants for Malaysian billionaire T Ananda Krishnan and Astro All Asia Networks Plc Deputy Chairman Ralph Marshall over allegations of corruption involving the purchase of an Indian telecommunications company by Malaysian telco Maxis, which is controlled by the former.
The court said the matter of the alleged phone-license corruption would be split into separate investigations for allegations pertaining to the two Malaysians and those involving the former Indian telecommunications minister Dayanidhi Maran, Bloomberg reported.
India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought the warrants of arrest to get the Malaysian tycoon and Marshall to face court proceedings following allegations that Maran improperly favoured an operator.
“Serious allegations have been levelled against the two accused both of whom are Malaysian nationals,” the judge said in the order, according to Bloomberg.
The court will conduct a hearing into the case against Maran on Oct 18.
The report also stated that investigators told the court that they were seeking the arrest warrants as attempts to serve the two Malaysians with summonses to appear in court had failed.
The judge noted in his order that Malaysian authorities had declined to effect the summons notice, hence the only other option was to approach Interpol with the arrest warrants.
In August, the CBI applied to a special CBI court for arrest warrants against Ananda and Marshall.
The CBI also sought warrants against Maxis Communication Berhad and Astro All Asia Network PLC.
All four are alleged to be involved in the Aircel-Maxis case involving Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran.
In August 2014, the CBI charged the Maran brothers, Ananda, Marshall and the four companies in the case.
The CBI alleged that Dayanidhi “pressured” and “forced” Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stake in Aircel and two subsidiary companies to Maxis Group in 2006.
Maxis had, in the past, denied the allegations, saying that all its dealings had been in full-compliance with the laws of India when it bought the stake in 2007.
The Aircel-Maxis case is related to one of money laundering 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.
FMT Reporters Online