Lalit Modi questioned by joint ED-IT team

Updated: 22 April 2010 13:21 IST

IPL Chairman Lalit Modi was once again questioned by IT and Enforcement Directorate officials over irregularities by the T20 body and its franchises.

Lalit Modi questioned by joint ED-IT team


IPL Chairman Lalit Modi was on Thursday questioned by a joint team of Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate officials probing alleged financial irregularities by the T20 cricket body and its franchises.

Officials of the two agencies began the exercise around 8.30 this morning at Modi's office at upscale Four Seasons hotel in central Mumbai and later shifted the venue to the IPL top honcho's office at Nirlon House in Worli.

It is for a second time in less than 24 hours that Modi is being questioned by the IT. He was also quizzed last Thursday about IPL bidding process and issues relating to franchisee owners.

Last night the IT officials had questioned him barely hours after its sleuths searched the premises of three entities associated with the hugely successful cricket entity.

Modi's questioning last night primarily focused on the broadcasting rights of IPL after it transpired that a "facilitation fee" of USD 80 million was paid by Multi-Screen Media to World Sports Group to reacquire the telecast rights of the league.

During today's probe, Modi was understood to have been asked questions about the payment of a portion of the facilitation fee by MSM to an offshore company of WSG in Mauritius, a tax haven, without paying income tax on the transaction in India, sources familiar with the development said.

According to ED sources, the team picked up documents relating to the IPL franchisees from Modi's office at Four Seasons Hotel and later questioned him at his premises at Nirlon House.

Modi was also taken to the offices of IPL franchisee Mumbai Indians owned by Mukesh Ambani at Nariman Point in south Mumbai.

IT officials had yesterday searched the offices of Multi-Screen Media, formerly Sony Entertainment Television, International Management Group and World Sports Group (WSG), all of whom are closely connected to the Lalit Modi-led IPL.

MSM is the telecasting agency of IPL, while WSG is its marketing arm. IMG is the organising agency of the IPL.

ED had registered a case against IPL under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to inquire into unauthorised transfer of funds from abroad.

The case was the first by ED against IPL after it received preliminary information that funds from abroad might have come in without mandatory RBI permission, sources said.

The ED was also contemplating registering a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act to have access into the foreign accounts of those who had allegedly pumped slush money into the IPL from foreign shores, including tax havens like Mauritius and Cayman Islands.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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