Dr. Subramanian Swamy in support of Sant Shri Asaram Bapu
Dr. Swamy effect : Maxis CEO stares at arrest, Interpol Red Corner Notice
May 21, 2012
New Delhi : In a new twist to the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal, the Indonesian Police has issued arrest warrant against Ralph Marshall, the CEO of Maxis Group and Astro All Asia Network. Ralph Marshall’s name figured as accused in the CBI’s FIR along with former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran.
Indonesian newspapers, quoting top National Police official Brig M Taufik, recently reported that Marshall’s name figures in the Wanted List for cheating, forgery, fraud and money laundering.
Marshall, a Sri Lankan of Tamil origin, holds Canadian citizenship and is residing in Malaysia. He is considered No 2 in the vast business empire floated by the Malaysian tycoon T Ananda Krishnan, popularly known as TAK. Both figured as No 3 and No 4 in the CBI’s FIR along with Maran brothers in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
According to CBI, for facilitating the acquisition of Aircel by Maxis, Maran brothers received quid-pro-quo through Maxis subsidiary Astro. This company later invested around `600 crore in Maran brothers controlled Sun Networks, CBI’s FIR says.
“Headquarters of the Indonesian National Police (Police Headquarters) confirmed that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Astro Malaysia, Ralph Marshall, entered the Wanted Persons List (DPO ) related to cases of alleged criminal forgery. Determination of DPO was issued since 18 April 2012 through a letter numbered DPO/05/IV/2012/DIT General Crime (Pidum) signed Ari Dono Sukmanto Brig,” reported Indonesian newspapers Republica and Antara News, quoting Chief of Bureau of Public Information Headquarters, Brig M Taufik.
In Indonesia, Wanted Persons List is known as DPO (Daftar Pencarian Orang) and it is issued on fugitives after police fails to arrest them.
The Indonesian Police officials also said hey have already sent arrest warrant against Marshall through diplomatic channels to Malaysia. The top cops also added they would soon approach Interpol to issue Red Corner Notice against “fugitive Marshall” to force the member countries to arrest him.
The same was confirmed in Malaysian newspapers like The Edge, Business Times and The Malaysian Insider. “Indonesian Police are looking to arrest Ralph Marshall, the right hand man of Malaysian multi-billionaire T Ananda Krishnan, over fraud and money laundering charges,” reported The Malaysian Insider, adding a report on the forthcoming revamp of Maxis Group following criminal charges faced by Marshall.
Astro All Asia Networks is the subsidiary of Maxis and have shareholding in several media organisations across the continent including India. Astro has entered into an alliance with Indonesian media company Lippo Group and also has sizeable shares in it.
The problem started when Astro sold its shares to Saudi Global telecom, without consulting the Indonesian partner Lippo. The Indonesian police have charged Marshall with money laundering, fraud and forgery cases and sued him for a compensation to the tune of $300 mn.
“Their (Indonesian government) calculation is that if they can exploit the criminal law to cause confusion and fear, they can avoid paying the damages,” Astro’s lawyer Hafzan Taher said in the statement, reported by the Malaysian newspaper Edge.
CBI, which registered FIR, eight months ago has not been able to question foreign nationals Ananda Krishnan and Marshall. Last week, a CBI team visited Malaysia and sources say Attorney General of Malaysia promised “all help” in relation to Aircel-Maxis deal.
However, the probe on Maxis violating the Indian foreign investment rules has reached no where. According to norms, maximum permissible level of foreign investment in telecom sector is 74 per cent. Contrary to the FIPB records, Maxis’ declaration to Malaysian stock exchange reveals that they have acquired almost 100 percent shares in Aircel in violation to Indian laws.