After Swan, focus now on Unitech in 2G scam

Mumbai/New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) After the arrest of SwanTelecom promoter Shahid Balwa, the focus of the CBI was now onanother real-estate house -- Unitech -- who earned a quickprofit of nearly 267 per cent by off-loading 60 per cent ofshares after getting spectrum in 2007-08.

Sources in the agency said that officials of the Unitechwould be questioned soon again after the CBI was through withthe interrogation of Shahid Balwa, promoted of Swan Telecomand Managing Director of DB group, a real estate house.

The charges against Unitech, according to the CBI''s FIR,was that it offlaoded 60 per cent of its shares to Telenor, aNorway-based telecom company and earned a profit of 267 percent even before the roll out.

"M/s Unitech was alloted UAS licences for 22 cricles forRs 1658 crore. It offloaded its 60 per cent of shares in thelicences to Telenor of Norway for Rs 6100 crore even beforethe roll-out," the FIR said.

Some of the officials of the Unitech have already beenquestioned by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate andsince now some more evidence had surfaced, there would be afresh round of questioning, the CBI sources said.

Efforts to seek comments from Unitech did not fructify.

According to the FIR, "the estimated loss to thegovernemnt by grant of licences to these two companies (Swanand Unitech) alone comes to Rs 7,105 crore. On pro-rata basis,the estimated loss for all the 122 circles is more than Rs22,000 crore."

Swan was alloted UAS licences for 13 circles for Rs 1537crore and it sold 45 per cent of shares before roll-out toUAE-based Etislat for Rs 4200 crore, the FIR said.

In a five-page FIR, CBI charged that the officials of theDepartment of Telecom and some private companies entered intoa criminal conspiracy and caused wrongful gains tothemseleves. It said the licenses were issued at a verynominal rate based on prices fixed in the year 2001.

"As per the information received, all this was done incriminal conspiracy between DoT offcials and private companiesin order to award licences to the company for a heavyconsideration by putting a cap on the number of applicantsagainst recommendation of TRAI and by awarding licences toprivate companies on first-come-first-serve basis on the ratesof 2001 without competitive bidding," the FIR said.

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