The phrase “money-trail” is generally used to describe illegal financial transaction between two parties. In a recent media briefing, the spokesperson for the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police is quoted to have stated that “during the course of investigation it has been revealed that there has been a money-trail of transaction between a Hansa group company and ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, the company operating Republic TV channels”.
A Police spokesperson had earlier alleged that Hansa Research has made payment of Rs 32 lakhs to Republic TV. This was later modified by the same officer that the money-trail was between Hansa Vision (a group company) and Republic TV, and that Hansa Research name was an error.
Hansa Vision, emphatically rejects the allegation of any illegal transaction between Republic TV and itself. On the specific request of Hansa Vision, its statutory Auditor Guru & Ram LLP has certified the accounts and certified the normal routine business transactions entered by Hansa Vision & ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd and that that there are no other transactions with them. It was further clarified by them that Hansa Vision has not been a recipient of any money from Republic TV.
Shekar Swamy, Group CEO of Hansa, said, “We have clarified that Hansa Vision India Pvt Ltd as a buyer of Television advertising time has done business with 55 channels including Republic TV in the past. However, no business has been done by Hansa Vision with Republic TV in 2019 or 2020.”
“The statement from the Mumbai Police quoted in Media says that no one from Hansa has explained the ‘connectivity with suspect channels’, meaning Republic TV. This is incorrect. During my very first meeting with the API Mr Sachin Vaze on October 13th, when there were 10 people in the room, I started with an explanation of the Hansa companies.
“This was bluntly dismissed by him as irrelevant and we were asked only to answer questions. Thereafter we have followed this guideline in all our meetings. The question of Hansa people not revealing any ‘connectivity’ or hiding anything does not arise,” Swamy added.