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LRs issued to 4 countries in Aircel-Maxis deal

New Delhi: Acting on a CBI plea, a special CBI court has issued judicial requests to four countries seeking details of money trail in the Aircel-Maxis deal in which former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran is an accused.

The Letters Rogatory (LRs) to the UK, Bermuda, Malaysia and Mauritius were issued by a Patiala House court last week in the case in which the agency has alleged Maran had received Rs 547 crore as kickbacks from Malaysian telecom company Maxis, sources said.

The agency is also likely to question Maran in connection with the case this month, they said. These allegations have been refuted by Maran. An email seeking Maxis`s comment remained unanswered.

The LRs are an attempt by the agency to get details of financial transactions from these four countries which would help in deciphering the money trail involved in the case, the sources said.

The CBI probe has reached the shores of Caribbean island Bermuda and the United Kingdom from where the money was allegedly routed to Indian companies, they said.

The agency had earlier confined its probe to Malaysia and Mauritius in connection with alleged routing of money in the takeover of Aircel by Malaysian giant Maxis, they said.

Besides Maran, the CBI had also accused his brother Kalanithi Maran, SUN Direct TV Director, Chairman of Maxis Communication T Ananda Krishnan, senior executive of Astro All Asia Network and Maxis` Ralph Marshall and three companies Astro All Asia Networks, Sun Direct TV and Maxis Communications of complicity.

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

The sources in the CBI alleged a quid-pro-quo on the part of the then Telecom Minister has been established. They also alleged that the probe indicated that there was evidence to suggest that files relating to Sivasankaran were "deliberately" delayed.

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