Rajus used hundreds of firms to siphon Satyam funds

Initial investigation by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has revealed that the members of the disgraced Satyam promoter Ramalinga Raju’s family

Written by J.P. Yadav | New Delhi | Published:January 20, 2009 3:14 am

Initial investigation by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has revealed that the members of the disgraced Satyam promoter Ramalinga Raju’s family own over a hundred different companies and prima facie a well-knit nexus between Satyam and these firms has also come to light,say sources in the corporate affairs ministry.

“What has come out so far appears to be tip of the iceberg. Initial findings of SFIO has revealed that Raju and his family members have interest in over hundred companies and most of them are owned by the family members,” an official in the ministry told The Indian Express.

Investigators now fear that not only the Maytas group of companies but these over hundred other companies might also have been used to siphon off Satyam funds. “These are very initial findings and one has to wait for the nature of operations of these huge number of companies in which the Raju family appears to be involved,” sources said.

Indication that the probe was inching towards these companies came from the government today when it extended the scope of the probe by SFIO to cover two Maytas companies (Maytas Properties Ltd and Maytas Infra Ltd) promoted by the family members of Ramalingam Raju.

Corporate affairs minister Prem Chand Gupta acknowledged that ongoing investigations had revealed a nexus between Satyam and its group entities. “Inspectors investigating the matters relating to Satyam have informed about apparent nexus between the events that have taken place in Satyam and the Mayatas group of companies,” Gupta said.

Gupta also hinted towards the involvement of many more companies when he said,“The government would ascertain the extent and nature of the irregularities that may have been committed relating to Satyam,within the company or in association with other companies.” Further,the minister also made it clear that SFIO had been given complete liberty to expand the scope of probe and cover everyone — directors,board members,banks,creditors,debtors. “Whenever the SFIO inspectors feel there is doubt they can always expand and probe it,” Gupta declared.

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