The Interpol has asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in India why a Red Corner Notice (RCN) should be issued against former IPL chief Lalit Modi. This is unusual, an investigator told The Indian Express, as the Interpol doesn't usually counter-question a country's request for apprehending individuals.
The RCN is issued "to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action" in a criminal case probe. Once the RCN has been issued, the Interpol arrests the person concerned, in any part of the world, and hand them over to the local law enforcement agencies--in this case India--for their internal investigation.
Lalit Modi is facing a probe related to alleged money laundering in India and authorities, such as the Enforcement Directorate, have been trying to get him to India. The ED had sought Interpol's help as domestic legal options available to it for serving its summons to Modi issued under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) failed.
However, the Interpol has now asked the ED if ample evidence is available against Lalit Modi to arrest him.
According to an Indian Express report, the Interpol has also sought details of the other accused in the case and the predicate offence based on which the agency registered a case under the PMLA. They also want to know why there was a delay in the investigation by the CBI.
On 20 August, the CBI said they has sent all documents, in the case being probed by ED to the Interpol for the issuance of the notice.
The move came after a Mumbai Court recently issued a non-bailable warrant against the former IPL Commissioner.
Lalit Modi's lawyer in Mumbai had reportedly refused to accept the summons, contending he was not authorised for it. The ED then e-mailed it to the former IPL honcho, who now lives in London. But, even that elicited no response from him.
The ED is probing Modi, the Indian Premier League (IPL) and its executives for alleged violation of anti-money laundering laws after registering a criminal FIR in 2012. The FIR was filed after the Central agency took cognizance of a cheating complaint filed by former BCCI chief N Srinivasan against Modi and half a dozen others with the Chennai police.
The ED subsequently invoked PMLA along with sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC to probe if BCCI-IPL and the exchequer had been cheated in the award of telecast rights for the T20 tournament in 2009.
The case relates to a 2008 deal between World Sports Group (WSG) and Multi Screen Media (MSM) for television rights of Indian Premier League (IPL) worth Rs 425 crore.
In 2008, BCCI had awarded media rights for ten years to WSG for USD 918 million. WSG entered into a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced a year later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid US $1.63 billion. The ED started a probe in 2009 under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate whether payment of Rs 425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius was made illegally.
It is also probing 16 foreign exchange violation cases vis-a-vis IPL, Modi and others. The most important of the cases is the one related to media rights deal in which the agency slapped show-cause notices against Modi and 13 others in February this year.
The ED, in its notice, has accused Modi of sending "fraud" emails and being a suspect beneficiary of Rs 125 crore illegal funds in connection with the Rs 425 crore deal for grant of media rights of the T-20 tournament.
(With inputs from PTI)