2G scam: India receives replies to LRs

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) Investigative agencies probingthe 2G spectrum scam have received replies from about fivecountries to which Letters Rogatory were issued late last yearseeking information about source of funding of certain telecomfirms who were awarded the radiowaves.

Government sources said more information has beensought based on the replies received.

While they did not give the names of the countriesthat have responded to the Letters Rogatory (LR), as thedetails will be given to the Supreme Court, sources said theyare hopeful of getting more substantial information.

The Supreme Court has asked both Central Bureau ofInvestigation and the Enforcement Directorate to submit statusreports on their probe to it by February 10, when the 2Gspectrum case will come up for hearing.

The Enforcement Directorate had late last year sendout LRs to 10 countries including Russia, UAE, Isle of Man,Cyprus, Mauritius, Norway, Singapore and Libya.

A Letter Rogatory is a formal request issued by acompetent court to a foreign court and processed by theministry of external affairs on behalf of the investigativeagencies to obtain information about individuals and entities.

Even prior to sending of the LRs, the ED, which isjointly probing the multi-crore-rupee scam with the CBI, hadalready approached their counterparts in overseas countrieshaving footprints of some telecom companies allotted thespectrum between September 2007 to January 2008 on asemi-formal basis.

Sources said ED feels that some entities operating inthose countries were connected with the spectrum allocationbesides certain others who later bought stakes in Indiancompanies that had bagged the spectrum.

Most of the companies that had bagged the spectrum hadtheir subsidiaries and business partners situated in foreigncountries. Untangling the financial transactions web spreadacross various countries is what the ED is focusing on.

Sources said the Directorate has also finished withthe second round of questioning of certain telecom firms.

Both ED and CBI are working in close cooperation withthe case. The CBI had even roped in the Directorate inmulti-city raids carried out late last year in connection withthe probe.

A source said while the CBI is looking at the possiblecriminal conspiracy angle in allocation of spectrum, ED isfocusing on the money trail.

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