Corruption charges

Aircel-Maxis case: Enforcement Directorate raids Karti Chidambaram’s houses in Delhi and Chennai

After the searches, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the agency did not have the authority to carry out investigations under the money laundering act.

The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday conducted raids at several locations with links to Karti Chidambaram, Congress leader P Chidambaram’s son, in Chennai and Delhi in connection with the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. The raids began early on Saturday and ended a little before noon, PTI reported.

The agency had carried out similar searches on December 1, 2017.

The case relates to the approvals the Foreign Investment Promotion Board granted for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when P Chidambaram was the finance minister. Karti Chidambaram is accused of facilitating bribes in the Aircel-Maxis transaction. The investigative agency is looking into “the circumstances” in which P Chidambaram, in his capacity as the finance minister then, had granted the Foreign Investment Promotion Board approvals.

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 Maxis.

After the raids on Saturday, P Chidambaram said the agency raided their house in Delhi “in a comedy of errors”, thinking Karti Chidambaram lived there.

“They searched and found nothing,” he said. “But since they had to justify themselves, they took papers of a statement made by government in Parliament a few years ago. The ED has no jurisdiction to carry out investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.”

Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of the story erroneously said the raids were related to the INX Media case.

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