World | Asia

July 21, 2015

Letter Rogatory Issued to Mauritius, Singapore in Lalit Modi Case

The special court for the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) issued a letter of request (letter rogatory) to Singapore and Mauritius to facilitate investigation carried out by the Enforcement Directorate against the former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi on Monday.
Former Indian Premier League tournament (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi

Former Indian Premier League tournament (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi

The ED in December 2012 had registered a case against Modi for alleged discrepancies in connection with awarding broadcast media rights for IPL.

According to the application filed by the ED, they have been investigating the case where the BCCI had entered into separate agreements with two companies — Multi Screen Media (Singapore) Ltd and World Sports Group (WSG) — for broadcasting media rights.

The agency alleged that the documents related to the alleged violation are with these companies in Singapore and Mauritius, for which they have sought letter of request from the court.

The agency has sought for documents related to both the companies, their memorandum of incorporation, bank account statements, credit statements and has also asked to speak to the concerned person from the company.

After the first season of IPL, Modi terminated contract with MSM alleging several breaches. Later a fresh contract was signed with WSG. According to ED, the agreement with MSM was for '1,105 crores for broadcasting rights for five years while agreement with WSGM was for '4,791.83 crores for nine years.

The agency had alleged that though the WSG was not a broadcasting company and they had no experience the contract was given to them. ED in their application alleged that “in term of the said agreement WSG was required to pay BCCI '112.5 crores on signing of the agreement dated March 15, 2009 and further bank guarantee on a rolling basis to guarantee the rights fee for each season on an ongoing basis. First such guarantee for season of 2009 for '335 crores was to be delivered on or before seven working days after the signing of the agreement.” However, the agency alleged that Modi had given several extensions to the company to comply with the terms.

Meanwhile, MSM had moved Bombay high court challenging the termination of the contract by the BCCI. The agency alleged that after the verdict of Bombay high court fresh contract was signed between BCCI and MSM, BCCI and WSG and MSM and WSG. According to the contract, MSM was required to pay '425 crore to WSG towards facilitation services. The agency had been investigating whether payment of '425 crore facilitation fees by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius was made illegally.

Meanwhile, it has stated that WSG in their communication to its directorate has stated that a small part of amount or $22.23 received from MSM has been utilized locally to satisfy debts.

Text by Hindustan Times
 

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