A CBI team is returning to Hyderabad on Sunday after spending a week in Mauritius investigating six bank accounts belonging to former Satyam owner B Ramalinga Raju and his family members, the Times of India reported.
The team led by DIG CBI V V Lakshminarayana left for Port Loius on October 18 and found at least Rs 600 crore stashed in the Mauritius bank accounts, the report said. The accounts were being used for money laundering purpose, a favourite channel of black money operators, CBI sources said. The figure can rause by the time the probe is over, sources told the newspaper.
During the course of its investigations in the Satyam scam, the CBI discovered that the scam money was either stashed in foreign bank accounts or was being diverted back to India through these accounts.
Accordingly, the CBI special court sent letters rogatory to six countries where the bank accounts linked to the scam were said to be in operation.
Apart from Mauritius, the letters rogatory were sent to courts in the US, UK, Belgium, British Isles and Singapore.
“The purpose of sending the letters rogatory was to request the courts in these countries to record the statements of the account holders and other connected persons and convey the same to the special CBI court in Hyderabad,” the sources said.
The CBI team, which included an RBI official, left for Mauritius after the court there communicated that it had recorded the statements of the account holders and others as sought by the Indian investigating agency.
“The purpose of taking the RBI officer was to check the banking norms and procedures in Mauritius and assist the CBI in tracing the money trail,” the sources added.
The Interpol is assisting the CBI in unearthing the foreign link in the Satyam scam, the sources said, and added that the CBI teams will visit the other countries where such bank accounts are alleged to exist as soon as the courts respond to the letters rogatory.
By establishing the foreign link in the Satyam scam, the CBI hopes to prove its case that the Raju family had floated almost 325 alleged benami companies and that the foreign accounts acted as conduits to divert the money from Satyam only to be re-routed to these fictitious companies and then laundered further for purchasing land and property in and around Hyderabad.