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Former BCCI chief N Srinivasan has accused former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi of paying Rs 3.5 crore in kickbacks while purchasing an aircraft for the latter. Srinivasan said Modi routed the funds through Aakash Aurora, owner of the Dubai-based Netlinkblue, to Golden Wings Pvt Ltd, the company that imported Bombardier aircraft for Modi.
The fresh accusation was made by Srinivasan in his statement on Thursday to the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“The statement recorded was based on a complaint filed by Srinivasan in 2010 against Modi and others in Chennai police station, charging them with alleged embezzlement of funds and cheating the cricketing body in the awarding of telecast rights,” a senior ED offcial told dna.
According to Srinivasan, it was a “kickback” paid by Aakash to Lalit Modi via Golden Wings.
According to sources, Aakash is having personal relations with Lalit Modi. He was handling the server of IPL commissioner office in 2008-09.
In April 2008, a company called Live Current Media (LCM) signed an MoU with BCCI and IPL to build, operate and promote two cricket-related websites iplt20.com, the official IPL website and bcci.tv, the official BCCI website. BCCI granted LCM exclusive and non-exclusive rights to digital cricket-related content.
In May 2008, LCM signed another MoU to form Global Cricket Ventures (GCV) with Netlinkblue (Aakash Aurora’s firm) to combine digital assets around the IPL. However, within a short period, LCM announced that it had exited GCV, hence leaving Netlinkblue as the sole owner of the erstwhile joint venture.
Srinivasan complained that BCCI was not informed of Modi’s relations with Aurora when the deal was signed, which was a complete breach of trust.
BCCI CEO Sundar Raman and Multi Screen Media CEO Manjit Singh are among others whose statements are also recorded under PML Act in last one week.
Even multiple teams within ED is working jointly to fast-track all legal procedures related to IPL and its former chairman Lalit Modi.
An ED team from its Mumbai zonal office has also been sent to Singapore to seek legal assistance in the matter.
The ED registered its own criminal case under PMLA early this year and later carried out searches in Gurgaon and Delhi to probe this deal which it suspects generated tainted funds.
ED, in its show-cause issued in February this year under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for the same case, has charged Modi of sending “fraud” emails and being a suspect beneficiary of Rs 125 crore illegal funds in connection with its Rs 425 crore forex violations probe for granting media rights of the T-20 tournament in 2009 by BCCI.
Golden Wings Pvt Ltd (GWPL) is the company which is under the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) probe for fraudulent import of a Bombardier Challenger aircraft for the usage of Lalit Modi and evading customs duty of Rs 18.7 crore.
In fact, a show-cause notice had been sent by DRI to the directors of GWPL, Lalit Modi and a few others.
As per Srinivasan’s statement, Aurora paid Rs 3.5 crore to Pradeep Thampi, one of the directors of GWPL. The ED officials would question Thampi and his role in this alleged “kickback”. Once the statement of Thampi is recorded, Aurora is the next person to be called in this case for questioning, said ED officials.