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SFIO to probe Satyam scam with private help

The government, which moved in swiftly to protect the interest of stakeholders of Satyam Computers, has decided to order a probe by
the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) into the scam. The decision on the SFIO probe is expected to be announced in the next five days. The RoC, which is conducting the preliminary investigation, this evening recommended a probe by the SFIO.

The RoC is finding it difficult to access important documents as they are not available in the corporate office. Some of these documents, sources said, are kept in company-owned premises 150 kms away from Hyderabad. The RoC has conveyed to the government that it has yet not been able to lay its hands on the bank account statements. The bank account statements are reportedly missing.

The government will also give the SFIO the mandate to hire services of private experts - lawyers, chartered accountants, etc - to aid its probe. The SFIO team will be assisted by officials of the RBI, SEBI, ED, Police, customs, excise, banking, revenue intelligence and forensic department. The investigations will cover eight companies of the group.

"The investigations will be carried out without hurting the interests of the company's stakeholders, employees and customers. The operations of the company will not be allowed to be affected as the government considers Satyam's operations and its talent important for the economy," said a senior government official.

The governnment leadership said stringent action will also be taken against the auditors. "The ICI is mandated by the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 to take action against errant firms," said sources.

The action against the auditors will, however, depend on the result of the investigations of the SFIO.

Source: Economic Times


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