As part of its ongoing probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal, the Enforcement Directorate has attached assets of over Rs 1 crore of Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram. The probe has been initiated to find out about kickbacks received for clearances in the Aircel-Maxis deal at the time when P Chidambaram held the finance portfolio.
According to an ED official, the probe agency has issued a provisional attachment order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and bank accounts and fixed deposits worth Rs 90 lakh were attached after he tried to “sell most of his assets and close certain bank accounts”.
“During investigation, it was found that the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotional Board) approval given in the Aircel Maxis case was given by former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram beyond his mandate,” the official said.
The official said that fixed deposits worth Rs 26 lakh issued in the name of Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited (ASCPL) were also attached. ASCPL is said to be linked to Karti who “controlled” it through another person.
The agency issued a provisional attachment order, signed by Joint Director and investigating officer of the 2G spectrum allocation cases Rajeshwar Singh, under the PMLA for attaching the assets.
“Enforcement Directorate has attached movable assets held by ASCPL (Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited) in the form of fixed deposits to the tune of Rs 26 lakh and movable assets held by Karti P Chidambaram in the form of fixed deposits and balance in saving bank account to the tune of Rs 90 lakh approximately,” the central probe agency said