Though the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet against A Raja and several corporate honchos in the 2G telecom scam, the agency says “they have not been able to identify the properties of the former minister”.
Sources say that “they won’t be able to identify his properties in near future as well because Raja has played very smart when it came to investing the ill-gotten money and also Sadiq Batcha, who knew about Raja’s wealth, is dead now”.
The CBI’s apprehension suggests that government might not be able to recover anything from the ill-gotten Rs 30,000 crore. Officials cited a similar problem with sacked OC chief Suresh Kalmadi as “his properties and investments are also not known”.
CBI believes that Raja, much before the 2G allocations, had planned his investments and safe route for the money. The ex-telecom minister had set up front companies before spectrum allocation, including realty firms, NGOs, trusts having family members on the board, export firms and connections with the hawala dealers to stash the money abroad. The agency also suspects that Raja made connections with NRIs, several firms in India, including in Chennai, Perambalur, Coimbatore and Trichy, and abroad.
The CBI conducted had raids on 11 investment, estate and finance companies on December 8, 2010, to look for Raja’s investments. Five of these companies, Green House Promotors, Equaas pvt ltd, Kadirkamam Estates , Sivakamam Tradings and Kovai Shelters, had direct links with Raja’s wife as she was either in the board of directors in these companies or had invested the money indirectly.
Other companies where CBI looked for Raja’s wealth were AGM Investments and Finances, Wellcom Communications India, Genex Exim-venture, Sally Thermoplastics, Sally Thermoplastics and Sally Road Systems, Ayyappa Enterprises (all based in Tamil Nadu) and JG Exports (has offices both in Delhi and Tamil Nadu).
Investigators found that Batcha was looking after Raja’s ill-gotten money. But, he was found dead at his house under mysterious circumstances in March around the time when he had started cooperating with the probe.
“Raja ran his empire through proxy. Batcha was aware of everything but he is not alive to give us details,” said an officer. The agency has been investigating 2G case since October 21, 2009, but they have not seized a single property of Raja.
Suresh Kalmadi, who was arrested in April, in a multi-crore Commonwealth Games scam, is also a rich man and has several properties in Pune and Mumbai. However, the agency has not found anything that suggests wheeling-dealing. The CBI suspects that high-flying Kalmadi might have parked his funds abroad.
“He has been arrested recently. We are investigating the money trail, but nothing has been found so far,” said the source. Economic Times