ED raids a comedy of errors, officials found nothing, claims P Chidambaram

ED raids a comedy of errors, officials found nothing, claims P Chidambaram

Chennai: The Enforcement Directorate and CBI today conducted multiple raids in places linked to senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The agency on Thursday issued fresh summons to Karti Chidambaram in a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in getting foreign investment for the INX Media in 2007. "I anticipated they'll search premises in Chennai again but in a comedy of errors they came to Jor Bagh (Delhi) and officers told me that they thought Karti is an occupant of this house but he is not", Chidambaram was quoted by ANI as saying. "The main ground in the case is that there is no FIR in respect of a scheduled crime registered by any police agency including the CBI", said Chidambaram.

He also said this was not an enquiry but just a raid, and kept emphasising that nothing was found or seized. Nothing was recovered from Karti's house during the raid. "We have been asked to appear before the directorate on 30 January".

Karti is accused of receiving Rs 3.5 crore for facilitating Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for INX Media, now 9X Media.

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Chidambaram said the ED has "no jurisdiction" to conduct such searches under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

During investigation, it was found that a company promoted by Karti and A. Palaniappan, a nephew of Chidambaram, allegedly received $2 lakh from Maxis Group in the guise of software consultancy.

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" under the PMLA. 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).

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