The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids today at multiple houses associated to Karti Chidambaram in connection with its money laundering investigation in the Airtel-Maxis case, who’s the son of Congress leader P Chidambaram. The raids are being conducted in Delhi and Chennai since early morning, the official sources said.
The Congress leader P Chidambaran said following the raids on Saturday that “They (ED officials) searched & found nothing but since they had to justify themselves they took papers of a statement made by govt in the Parliament, few years back. The ED has no jurisdiction to investigate under PMLA”. On December 1 last year, the central probe agency had also conducted similar raids on the premises of a relative of Karti and others in the case. The Enforcement Directorate case refers to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) consent granted in 2006 by the then finance minister P Chidambaram. “The circumstances of the said FIPB approval granted by the then finance minister (P Chidambaram),” the agency had said about its investigating.
The ED also claimed that Karti has “disposed” of a property in Gurgaon, which he had already rented out to a multinational company “to which foreign direct investment (FDI) approval had been granted in 2013”. Under the PMLA, it charged that Karti had “also closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close other bank accounts in order to frustrate the process of attachment”. The ED alleged that FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March, 2006 by the then finance minister despite he was capable to agreement on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and more that it needed the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). “In the instant case, the approval for FDI of 800 million USD (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, CCEA was competent to grant approval. However, approval was not obtained from CCEA,” it alleged.