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Aircel-Maxis case: ED raids Karti Chidambaram's premises in Chennai, Delhi

13 January 2018

Enforcement Directorate (ED) today conducted raids at Karti Chidambaram's premises in Delhi and Chennai in the INX media money laundering case.

The ECIR was lodged under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

He also said that there is no FIR concerning a scheduled crime by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any Police agency. According to initial reports, the raids which are being conducted in Delhi and Chennai are in relation to the Aircel-Maxis case.

Addressing reporters in Delhi, Chidambaram said the ED has "no jurisdiction" to conduct the searches and that some of these properties belonged to him. I recorded that. Obviously they found nothing.

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Later, Subramanian Swamy alleged that in 2006, a company controlled by Karti received a 5 per cent kickback as a part of Rs 5,000 crore paid by Maxis for a 74 per cent stake in Aircel.

Earlier in 2017, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram while speaking on his son Karti Chidambaram offshore accounts had said, "it was an absolute lie that Karti has offshore accounts". In comedy of errors, the ED Officers said that they believe Karthi Chidambaram is the occupant of the house in Jor Bagh, but it's not, he added.

He also claimed that the CBI and the ED had searched Karti's residence in Chennai thrice so far but had found nothing there.

He said the ED officials searched the place "including the kitchen and the bathroom and obviously they found nothing".

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"They took away papers related to a statement made by the government in 2012-13 in the case and the background papers related to the case".

The agency has alleged that Karti received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) conditions to receive investment from Mauritius. 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 FIPB approval was supposed to go to the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs but Chidambaram senior allegedly approved it on his own and the amount for FIPB clearance was wrongly projected to hide facts.

"In the instant case, the approval for FDI of 800 million United States dollars (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought". It was alleged that Karti used his father Chidambaram's influence to get the foreign direct investment (FDI) approval for the deal.

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Aircel-Maxis case: ED raids Karti Chidambaram's premises in Chennai, Delhi