NEW DELHI: After the CBI raid against the founders of NDTV, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to register a money laundering case against the news channel promoters Pranoy Roy and his wife Radhika, along with a slew of firms that are suspected to be shell companies, allegedly involved in layering of transactions by the accused persons and entities.
The CBI had on June 2 registered a case under Section 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to criminal misconduct against Pranoy Roy, Radhika and private firm RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 48 crores to ICICI Bank and accruing wrongful gain of the amount.
The CBI had on Monday conducted searches at five premises relating to Roys in Delhi, Dehradun and Mussoorie.
The CBI suspects at least two firms---Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited and Shinano Retail Private Limited---are shell companies as they may not be having any actual business but RRPR took a loan of about 404 crore in two tranches in 2009-10. The CBI suspects there could be more shell firms involved in the case.
An ED source said the CBI FIR is being examined and a decision to register a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) will be taken on the merits of the money laundering angle involved in the layered transactions by the firm accused in the CBI case.
Under a PMLA case, the ED can probe the “proceeds of crime” and illicit wealth generated from such funds and can initiate attachment proceedings subsequently.