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Enforcement Directorate raids Chidambaram, Karti premises in Aircel Maxis case

Along with the raids at Chennai and Delhi premises of Karti Chidambaram, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday also raided senior Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram’s house in Delhi.

Commenting on the ED raid the Congress leader said, “They (ED officials) searched and found nothing but since they had to justify themselves they took papers of a statement made by the government in the Parliament, few years back. The ED has no jurisdiction to investigate under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).”

P Chidambaram further added: “There is no FIR concerning a scheduled crime by CBI or any agency. I anticipated they’ll search premises in Chennai again but in a comedy of errors they came to Jor Bagh (in Delhi) and officers told me that they thought Karti is an occupant of this house but he is not.”

Also ED did not find anything at Karti’s homes in Delhi and Chennai.

Talking about the ED raids, Karti’s lawyer said nothing was found and nothing was seized from Delhi and Chennai homes of Karti.

“The ED conducted a raid today. Nothing was found, nothing was seized. The raid concluded at 10:45 am,” Karti’s lawyer Arun Natrajan told media in Chennai.

He also said this was not an enquiry but just a raid, and kept emphasising that nothing was found or seized.

“It was a raid conducted under the provisions of PMLA,” said Arun Natrajan.

According to sources, the ED officials reached Karti’s premises at 7:30 am. There were about five officials at their residence.

In October, 2017, during investigation ED found that Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval given by P Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis case was beyond his mandate.

The law enforcement agency, in its investigation, also found that the amount for FIPB approval was wrongly projected to conceal the facts.

It also found that the company promoted by Karti and P Chidambaram’s nephew allegedly received two lakh dollars from Maxis Group in guise of software consultancy.

The Aircel-Maxis deal refers to a series of allegations of kickbacks in the telecom sector, which was part of the wider 2G scam that engulfed the UPA regime.

In 2011, former Aircel head C Sivasankaran complained to the CBI that he was being forced by then telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran to sell Aircel to the Malaysia-based Maxis Communications group owned by T Ananda Krishnan.

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