The financial landscape of the country is on a downward spiral with cases a plenty surfacing on big corporate tycoons committing fraudulent business transactions and fleeing away from the country.
While billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi and his associate Mehul Choksi duped the Punjab National Bank and other banking majors with fraudulent banking transactions, the Aircel-Maxis deal has once again caught the eye of financial and banking experts, who feel the telecom deal could potentially unearth as one of the biggest banking scams to ever hit the country.
Telecom company Aircel which recently filed for bankruptcy at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) opens up a lot of questions as to how this entity which was a rising telecom player in the recent past went into a state of financial distress in no time whatsoever.
One question which racks every Indians mind is who could be the brainchild behind robbing Indian banks to the tune of Rs 15000 crores. Well the answer comes in the form of Maxis Communications' 79-year-old owner T Ananda Krishan, who is the third richest Malaysian with a net worth estimated at around 6.5 arab dollars.
To unearth all the fallacies behind the Aircel Maxis deal, News Nation has gone the distance uncovering some telling facts over a time span of twelve years.
News Nation ran an exclusive show with an expert panel on board discussing who was the brainchild behind the Aircel Maxis deal and what was his ultimate objective
Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan owned Maxis Communications acquired Indian telco Aircel for a rathan paltry purchase considetation of only USD 1 billion dollar. Within one year of acquiring Aircel, Maxis sold off its 25 per cent stake to a Saudi Arabian telecom company for a staggering USD 3 billion. What was startling about this sell-off was that most of the assets sold to the Saudi Arabian telco were initially purchased by Maxis from Indian based Aircel.
Expressing his views on the nature of the deal from an ethical standpoint, News Nation's Senior Journalist and telecom expert Manoj Gairola made the following comments – It seems that Maxis owner T Ananda Krishnan’s whole idea of taking over Aircel were dubious from the very beginning and was built around the premise of saving his Malaysian company through fraudulent means and measures.
Highlighting the gaping holes in Indian bank's lending principle, Gairola added that in 2009, SBI and other banks issued Aircel loans amounting to Rs 10,000 crore by just keeping its 2G spectrum as a guarantee. The spectrums were allocated on a first come first serve basis and the value of Aircel's spectrum would have not been more than Rs 1000 crores.
Ananda Krishnan knew from the very beginning that he would never be able to pay off the humongous debt taken by his company from Indian banks so took to all unethical means to save his company from scanner of telecom regulatories and financial watchdogs.
Anand devised a master plan to execute his evil intentions. He delisted his telecom company Maxis from the Malaysian stock exchange. As an eye wash, he then split his telecom entity into two companies. One was deemed to look after the Malaysian operations while the other meant to take care of the Indian operations. He then got the Malaysian company re-listed on the stock exchange and left the Indian entity as a private player.
Ananda Krishnan was quite successful in hatching his plan to fool the regulatory bodies. When Aircel’s dwindling business went into doldrums in India, cases were filed and investigation was carried out against the Indian corporate entity while Maxis Communications remained safegaurded and never came under the scanner.
CBI goes hammer and tongs after Ananda Krishnan issuing summons and an arrest warrant - A timeline
The Central Bureau of Investigation filed a charge sheet in connection to the Aircel–Maxis deal on 29th August 2014. Ananda Krishnan was named as one of the prime accused in the fraudulent business acquisition.
In Oct 2014, a special court issued summons against Krishnan but he did not respond. On 16th March 2015, summons were again issued but Anand again remained close guarded, rendering no response.
On 3rd Aug 2015, summons were issued for a third time but once again Krishnan remained defiant and chose not to answer. On 7th Dec 2015, a fourth summon was issued but Ananda did not pay any heed to it. In Sep 2016, an arrest warrant was issued against him for not responding to the fifth summon in July 2016.
Despite all the summons and arrest warrant, Ananda could not be arrested. In Jan 2017, the Supreme Court of India proposed cancellation of Aircel's spectrum licence. However the lending consortium made a plea to the apex court that if Aircel's business ceases to exist, they would find it near to impossible to recover their crores of loan payments due from the entity.
As of now, the Aircel-Maxis deal case is in the jurisdiction of the Supreme court and to make things worse for the banks, Aircel has declared itself bankrupt.