The Enforcement Directorate on Friday conducted raids at six places in Chennai and Kolkata in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case, PTI reported. The searches, at the premises of four people, are still on.
Citing agency sources, the report said that the premises of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s relative S Kailasam in Chennai’s Teynampet was raided. Besides this, the premises of S Sambamoorthy and Ramji Natarajan in Chennai and that of Manoj Mohanka at Kolkata’s Lee Road and Lovelock Place were searched.
The case relates to clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when P Chidambaram was the finance minister. His son Karti Chidambaram is accused of facilitating bribes in the Aircel-Maxis transaction. The Aircel-Maxis deal is part of the much bigger 2G spectrum scam, which cost the country’s exchequer around Rs 1.76 trillion. Officials are looking into how telecom firm Aircel was sold to a Malaysian communication giant named Maxis.
The enforcement agency had found during its investigation that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval was given by the minister against his tenure. It had also said that the amount for FIPB approval was wrongly projected to conceal facts.
In response, P Chidambaram had called the allegations a “crazy mixture of falsehoods and conjectures”, and claimed they were meant to intimidate and silence him.