Hawala route traced in 2G scam, says ED

SC told 31 firms summoned so far

Hawala route traced in 2G scam, says ED

Hawala operators based in several countries were involved in the 2G spectrum allocation scam that caused a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the country’s exchequer, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Presenting its status report before a Bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly in a sealed envelope, the agency also said 31 firms have so far been summoned and statements of 26 companies recorded.

After perusing the report, the court said “prima facie there is violation of law of the land.”The ED reported that it has sought the help of foreign countries in tracking the source of money.

 “Letters Rogatory (request sent to foreign courts in collecting evidence) have been sent to Singapore, Cyprus, Jersey and Virgin Islands. Similar communications have been forwarded to two other countries,” counsel said. The agency pointed out that after granting licence, a person sold his equity in the company and made huge monetary gains which has traced to Mauritius. It said that a person has paid Rs 100 crore for liasioning. Another account holder could not explain the source of Rs 2.5 crore stashed away in his bank.

During the hearing,  counsel alleged that media has been making “baseless” charges questioning the very credentials of the ED director. The court, however, said that such reports should be ignored.

The court is monitoring the CBI probe into the 2G spectrum allocation on a petition filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation, an NGO.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, counsel for the NGO, sought a direction to the CBI and the ED for probing into “quid pro quo arrangement” between the DMK and Tatas, alleging the land was allotted to the political party after the company got dual licence during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja. His contention was opposed by Venugopal, who said oral remarks should not be made on such matters.

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