Indian police ‘book’ tycoon Ananda Krishnan, Ralph Marshall in telco graft scandal

(The Malaysian Insider) – Indian investigators have filed a case against Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri T. Ananda Krishnan, his trusted executive Ralph Marshall together with a former Indian telecom minister and his brother on charges of criminal conspiracy over a controversial deal involving telecommunication giant Maxis and India’s Aircel.

A Maxis spokesman told The Malaysian Insider the company is aware of the case when contacted this afternoon.

“We’re aware of that and we’ll get back to you,” the corporate communications official said.

State news agency Press Trust of India said three companies, including Maxis, have also been listed in the case. The other companies are India’s Aspro and Sun TV.

The former Indian minister is Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi. PTI said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today conducted raids at the premises of the Maran brothers in Delhi and Chennai.

“The CBI has registered case against Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall and T. Ananda Krishnan (picture) and three companies under section 120b of IPC read with 13(2) with 13 (1)(d) and also sections 7 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The case was registered on 9th October. Searches were conducted at Delhi and Chennai,” CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said here.

It has been alleged by former Aircel chief C. Sivasankaran that Dayanidhi Maran as the then-telecom minister favoured the Maxis group in the takeover of his company and in return investments were made by the company through Astro network in Sun TV owned by the Maran family.

The CBI, in its recent status report to the Supreme Court, had said that during Dayanidhi Maran’s tenure there was “deliberate delay” to provide a letter of intent to Sivasankaran.

The agency had said that after Aircel was sold to Maxis investments were made by the Malaysian firm into the family business of the Marans.

The Aircel group is a joint venture between Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Berhad and India’s Sindya Securities & Investments Private Limited and has the largest service in Tamil Nadu.