Sleuths from the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate will leave for Mauritius to find the identity of the owners of Delphi Investment, which bought Reliance Communications’ 9.9% stake in Swan Telecom in December 2007. The impending investigation will be a test-case for the mutual legal-assistance (MLA)treaty signed with Mauritius.
The four-member team, comprising two officers from CBI and two from ED, is scheduled to fly to Port Louis on Sunday. But the government is keeping its fingers crossed, and is hoping that the Mauritius government adheres to the clauses of the MLA Treaty and extends its full co-operation in unearthing what is inarguably the country’s biggest scam.
According to a senior government functionary, the forthcoming visit by the CBI-ED team will be a test-case of the MLA treaty.
The team, during its visit to Mauritius, will try to find out whether the 9.9% equity divested by Reliance Communications to Delphi Investment is actually held by former telecom minister A Raja, languishing in Tihar jail after being chargesheeted by CBI in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, or someone else at his behest.
“We want to find out who are the real people behind Delphi Investment,” officials of the two investigating agencies pointed out. The outcome of their investigations in Mauritius will help the two investigating agencies determine whether Delphi was a front company in the 2G spectrum scam money trail and if the stake transfer was part of a quid-pro-quo deal with Raja.
The investigating agency had sent a letter rogatory to the Mauritius government to find out the people behind Delphi Investments. It had also sought details on its date of incorporation, the business it conducts and its financial health.
The faces behind Delphi Investment have been hazy, and investigating agencies have found it difficult to crack the ownership trail so far. There is very little information on the firm, other than the fact that it was a wholly-owned subsidiary of another firm -Mavi Investment Fund, which is said to be incorporated in Mauritius as a private category 1, global business company and whose management company is International (Mauritius) Ltd.
The letter for legal assistance sent by CBI observes that on December 5, 2007 – less than two months after getting the dual technology licence – Reliance Communications sold the entire equity of 1.07 crore shares (9.9%) held by its subsidiary Reliance Telecom in Swan to Delphi Investment, Les Cascades Building, Edith Cavell Street , Port Louis, Mauritius. Economic Times