Investigation to focus on real source of money

Reliable sources told Deccan Herald that preliminary investigations had found gross violation of  Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) which was earlier called as Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA). The Act was amended in 2000 and this lead to slackening of restriction on foreign exchange as well as making some of the key policies “more flexible.”

The investigation would look into a possible nexus of  “ politicians in the cricket business” which, on a conservative estimate, has grown as a Rs 15000- crore commercial empire and is still expanding with lots of  “unaccounted money” pumping in from undisclosed sources.

Subsequent to Shashi Tharoor’s exit from the Union Council of Ministers, all known premises of the IPL head  Lalit Modi, seen to be politically  close to the BJP and personally to NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, are being raided by Income Tax officials. They have already seized  at least six suitcases full of documents, lap tops  and CDs, all suspected to be related to IPL franchises.

Back-up of files and call records from Modi’s BlackBerry and laptop, including e-mails and SMSes sent and received by him have been retrieved. Investigators have also roped in several tax and revenue experts to speed up the probe.

The Kochi Fanchise with an odd eight sponsors had four of them belonging to diamond merchants from Surat,  the sources said adding that  “the legitimacy” of  funds need to be established.

The top officials of Finance and Revenue ministry on Monday went into a huddle to fine-tune and broaden  the  terms and reference of the IPL investigations. The six-page IB report which has cast aspersions on “the business credential” of  Sunanda Pushkar has also been referred to by the officials in tandem with ED. The business links of Modi   with political leaders cutting across party lines have made the investigations much  trickier, the  officials said.

BCCI President Sharad Pawar has already offered a strong backing to Modi. The BCCI is expected to meet on April 24 to take stock of the situation arising out of an all-out investigation against Modi.

The scrutiny of  various state cricket bodies, some of them being headed by BJP and RJD leaders, is underway. The investigations would  stretch across the entire IPL which has been under a  cloud  with issues ranging from lack of transparency, flawed bidding process, bribery, kickbacks, financial irregularities ,  hawala transactions and money laundering, the sources added.

IPL is glorified gambling: Ravi
Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi on Monday alleged that the IPL was a “glorified gambling” run with black money, report agencies from New Delhi.

Accusing IPL commissioner Lalit Modi of being “very close” to the BJP, Ravi said it was for the government to look into the role of big money in the IPL. “It is a matter of serious concern,” he said.

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