ED Issues Summons to Karti Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis Deal Probe

Credit: PTI

Credit: PTI

New Delhi:
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Karti Chidambaram, the son of former finance minister P. Chidamabram, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal, part of the 2G scam.

Officials said the agency had issued a notice to Karti to present himself in person or through an authorised representative, and submit personal financial documents and those related to a firm this week. Sources said the summons had been issued by the investigating officer and deputy director Rajeshwar Singh.

This is the first time that a notice has been issued to Karti in the case, under investigation since last year.

It is understood that Karti has sought more time to comply with the summons.

The ED’s probe pertains to firms identified as Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited and Chess Global Advisory Services Pvt Ltd, in which Karti was a director, and a few others for alleged violations under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED, along with the Income Tax department, had conducted search and seizure operations on the business premises of Chess Global firm in Chennai in the presence of Karti last December.

While Karti has denied any wrongdoing and has reiterated his cooperation with the probe agencies, his father has accused the government of launching a “malicious onslaught” against his family.

“If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics,” the Congress leader had said.

In August last year, the ED had issued summonses to two directors of a firm linked to Karti after a probe revealed that Rs 26 lakh had been allegedly sent from the firm to Aircel Televentures.

The ED is also contacting many countries, including the UAE, South Africa, the US, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, France, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the British Virgin Islands, on a reciprocal arrangement basis to obtain further leads in the case.

The agency had also filed a chargesheet in the Aircel-Maxis deal and had named former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and sister-in-law Kavery Kalanithi as accused in the case.

The ED has also said that a further probe relating to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval in deal and related issues are subject of further investigation under anti-money laundering laws, and that approval for the deal was given when Chidambaram was finance minister in 2006.