CBI probing 'hawala' racket in Satyam scam

SEC also sought permission for probe

CBI probing 'hawala' racket in Satyam scam

Satyam headquarters in Hyderabad

CBI sources said involvement of hawala operators had surfaced during its probe in Satyam fraud since a lot of money was siphoned off from the company and parked in tax havens.

The same money is alleged to have been brought back into the country through non-banking channels, they said.

Money laundering

The Economic Offences Wing of the CBI is looking into the role of alleged illegal money laundering network with the help of other agencies, including Enforcement Directorate and market regulator Sebi in India, and abroad. Hawala is a term to define illegal exchange of money, including through non-banking channels.

The CBI sources alleged Raju had fraudulently increased the number of employees in its offices in India and abroad thus giving broader scope for the use of hawala network.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is currently in Hyderabad, has also sought India’s permission to probe the fraud. SEC, which is Sebi’s counterpart in the US, has been probing the fraud at Satyam in that country including involvement of hawala operators, as Satyam Computer is listed in the New York Stock Exchange.

The CBI has also planned to launch a joint prosecution with the help of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

The agency on April 7 filed a charge-sheet in the fraud case against Raju and eight others under various sections of the Indian penal code for cheating and forgery before a special court in Hyderabad.

It also plans to come up with a joint strategy to prosecute Raju and others accused in the case and would request the state Government and Andhra Pradesh High Court for the appointment of a special magistrate to facilitate speedy trial of the Satyam case, they said.

The Satyam scam, allegedly involving approximately Rs 9,000 crore, came to light early this year after its founder Ramalinga Raju confessed to having inflated company’s account books.

The case on February 18 was handed over to the CBI after receiving a request from the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The CBI had also submitted 1,532 original documents of bank transactions and 65,000-page other documents, which included the statements of 432 witnesses in the case along with the charge-sheet among other things.

Press Trust of India

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