What is common between Indian Premier League and BAG films? Was the money siphoned off from the murky deals in the IPL used fund the company? The money transferred to BAG Films from fictitious companies and from abroad points towards foul play in the entire business transactions of BAG films. Adding to it is the involvement of the current chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Rajeev Shukla in the abovementioned company, which is helmed by his wife Anuradha Shukla. The documents in possession of the Naradanews.com suggest that the enquiry into the IPL match fixing scandal have been systematically torpedoed by former UPA minister Rajeev Shukla and the investigating officer Neeraj Kumar, who was former commissioner of Police in Delhi. Shukla resigned from the post of IPL chairman in June 2013 after facing the heat of allegations that were leveled against him.
After Lalit Modi was forced to step down from the chairmanship of the IPL, it was Rajeev Shukla, the Man Friday of the Congress leadership, who was assigned the task of running the cash-rich league. Cricket lovers across the country would find out how certain players and groups played hand in glove to tarnish the spirit of the gentleman’s game. But, as events panned out later, Shukla and his investigating officer failed to find out where the money accrued through illegal deals ended up. This prompted us to investigate about the huge amount of money that came to BAG Films from various companies. Director, Enforcement Directorate, Karnal Singh has confirmed to Naradanews.com that an enquiry has been initiated to probe the role of Rajeev Shukla and Neeraj Kumar in the illicit money transactions.
The fact that Anuradha Shukla who is the owner of the BAG films is also the sister of the law minister Ravi Shanker Prasad, speaks volumes on the enormous political clout she enjoys across political spectrum.
Naradanews.com got in touch with some of the officers who were part of the investigation team who probed corruption in IPL. On the condition of anonymity, they revealed that Neeraj Kumar muzzled their voice and put pressure on them to clear the name of Rajeev Shukla. They confided about the involvement of Rajeev Shukla in the match fixing scandal of which they learnt through various phone conversations of Shukla. Neeraj Kumar saw to it that Rajeev Shukla and BAG Films got a clean chit in the matter.
The association between Rajeev Shukla and Neeraj Kumar goes back a long time. Rajeev made Neeraj’s daughter a full-time director of BAG Films. It was under Kumar’s leadership that the IPL players were arrested in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. Later, Kumar became the chief advisor to the cricket board’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) replacing Ravi Sawani when Rajeev Shukla was the chairman of the governing council. Interestingly, this was after he failed in his investigation into the spot-fixing scandal which resulted in the acquittal of the three cricket players accused of being involved. Rajeev Shukla was instrumental in bringing Neeraj Kumar in the IPL investigation and placing him in important positions.
How BAG got the money?
Team Narada investigated three companies based in Kolkata that engaged in the illicit transactions. Our investigations proved that these companies are fictitious. The addresses given to the Registrar of Companies are fake. Also, these companies have not filed any tax for years. These companies acquired huge stakes in BAG Films at inflated value (more than Rs 60 cr).
As documents with us reveal, Rajeev Shukla laundered Rs 150 Cr to the BAG Films. What is the source of the money? This raises suspicion that the money siphoned from the illicit transactions in IPL could possibly have been pumped into BAG Films. Bogus companies investing in BAG Films raises the pertinent question whether there is more to what has come out in the public in regard with the IPL deals.
Some of these bogus companies were floated apparently to channel the money towards the BAG Films are in the name of Shukla’s family members. Mainly his wife Anuradha Prasad Shukla holds key positions in all these companies. A man in the position of Rajeev Shukla (he is chairman of IPL and former vice president of BCCI) could have easily brokered deals with all franchisees for fixing matches. These shell companies which showed losses in their business reports played a major role in bringing illicit money and turning it into white money by pumping investment into BAG Films.
Ankita Kumar, daughter of former Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar, is the director and the stockholder in the company. Neeraj Kumar was part of the audit committee as well. Here are list of companies they set up to divert the dirty money :
And major stake holders are members of the Shukla family.
1- M/s. BAG Business Ventures Limited.
2- M/s. E24 Glamour Limited
3- M/S. Approach films and Television Private limited.
4- M/s. Dhamaal 24 Radio Network Limited.
5- M/s. BAG films and Media Limited.
6- M/s. Anu films and communication Pvt Ltd.
7-M/s BAG Live entertainment Pvt. Limited
Apart from Indian fictitious companies, Shukla managed to get money from Mauritius as well.(FID Funds Mauritius Ltd) Rajeev Shukla pumped money to Mauritius based FID funds and then he managed to get that money to his bogus companies which in turn invested in BAG films. It must be noted that all this happened when the BAG was making huge loses .
During the period between 2007 – 20012 company showed the loss of 120 crores . Kolkata and Delhi stood as an intermediate platform to divert funds to bogus companies
Sky-blue Build Well Pvt Ltd, High Growth Distributors Pvt Ltd, Santos Industries Pvt Ltd, Arion Commercial Pvt Ltd, Skyline Tele Media Services Limited are the main source of money laundering, surprisingly it is continuing unhindered .
Apart from all these fake companies, he set up some charitable institutes also to launder money. BAG films has a charitable trust that runs educational institutes. Through his charitable institutes, he managed to get funds from the government which he diverted towards his own business interests.
BFES, headed by Shukla’s wife Anuradha Prasad, was allotted a plot measuring 2,821 sqm it has been reported, which is reserved for a municipal school, for a paltry Rs 98,735 in 2007. The trust was also leased an adjoining 3,534-sqm plot, reserved for a playground, for 15 years at Rs 6,309 per year. When the trust applied for the land, Shukla himself was the BFES secretary.
After getting the documents regarding BEFS’s step to move aside the charity plan and run management school with high donations, government issued legal notices and took back the plot allotted.
How they covered up the illicit activities
Neeraj Kumar fabricated stories to divert the attention from the main people involved in the spot fixing scandal. Instead small fish like pacer Sreeshanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan and others fell prey to their nefarious designs. Neeraj Kumar tunred these individuals into scapegoats who ended up facing media trial and all the hoopla that followed took care of diverting the attention. Nobody questioned the authenticity of the accusations at that time. Eventually these cricket players were given a clean chit and released but they are still living under fear and refuse to reveal what really happened.
Repeated attempts by way of phone calls and messages from Naradanews.com to Rajeev Shukla and Neeraj Kumar to get their version on the matter went unheeded.
The evils of match fixing have consumed one too many lives. A former super cop in Delhi police got shot dead in 2013 while the investigation was going on. That cop, Barthish Dutt was considered as the prominent investigative officer but no further investigation took place after his murder. That case was also handled by Neeraj Kumar and he deliberately closed the file.
With inputs from Angel Abraham and Nidhin Chandran