ED issues Rs 742.58 crore attachment order against Sun TV group’s Marans

MUMBAI: South Indian media baron Kalanidhi Maran and his brother, the former Union telecom minister Dayanidhi – scions of the powerful DMK party of Tamil Nadu - received a setback late last evening when India’s Enforcement Directorate issued an order to attach properties and assets worth Rs 742.58 crore belonging to them. 

It also ordered that certain assets belong to Kalanithi’s wife Kaveri  be attached. The order was issued following investigation by  the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, says an ED release, and was in relation to an alleged illegal gratification of the same amount Dayanidhi received in the Aircel-Maxis case when he was telecom minister.

The entire money laundering investigation is being done under the eagle eye of the Supreme Court and the ED’s Deputy Director Rajeshwar Singh under the Headquarter Investigation Unit (HIU).

The ED had tweeted earlier in the day that the “ED HIU attaches under PMLA FDs, land & building,shares of Maran brothers worth Rs 742.58 crores in #Aircel-Maxis case.”

Dayanidhi was chargesheeted in that case by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2011 for coercing Aircel owner C. Sivasankaran during his term as telecom minister  (in 2006) to sell his stake to Maxis which is owned by ageing Malaysian billionaire Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan.  In return for that companies in Mauritius transferred Rs 742.58 crore allegedly for Dayanidhi into Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) and South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL)

The EDs investigation revealed that SDTPL is promoted by Kalanithi Maran and Kaveri Kalanithi and they own 80 per cent of its shares. The shareholders of SAFL are  Sun TV Network  (60 per cent) and 20 per cent each are A.H. Multisoft Pvt Ltd  and South Asia Multimedia Technologies Ltd., Mauritius. Kalanithi also holds 75 per cent of Sun TV Network Limited, while he and his wife own 90 per cent and 10 per cent respectively of Kal Comm Pvt. Ltd.

The ED order has attached the following under the PMLA:

* Fixed deposits held by Dayanidhi Maran and others - Rs. 7.47 Crore

*  Fixed deposits held by SDTPL - Rs. 31.34 Crore.

*  Fixed deposits held by SAFL - Rs. 6.19 Crore

* Mutual Funds held by SAFL - Rs.15.14 Crore.

* Fixed Deposit held by Kalanithi Maran - Rs 100 Crore.

*  Mutual Funds held by Kalanithi Maran - Rs. 2.78 Crores.

*  Fixed Deposit held by Kaveri Kalanithi - Rs 1.30 Crore.

*  Mutual Funds held by Kaveri Kalanithi - Rs. 1.78 Crore.

*  Land and Building owned by Kal Comm Private Limited - Rs. 171.55 Crores

* Free Hold Land and Building owned by Sun Network TV Pvt. Ltd - Rs. 266 Crore.

* Shares of SDTPL held by Kalanithi Maran – Rs. 139 Crore.

The Marans have 120 days to appeal against the ED order.

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