ED raids Karti, associates in money laundering case

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The ED had on Thursday issued fresh summons to Karti, son of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram for appearing before it on January 16 in connection with the money laundering case.

Following the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) raids on the premises of his son Karti Chidambaram, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram questioned the jurisdiction of the agency to investigate a matter related to Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2000. The agency had conducted similar searches on the premises of a relative of Karti Chidambaram and others in this case in December.

File image of Karti Chidambaram. "The main ground in the case is that there is no FIR in respect of a scheduled crime registered by any police agency including the CBI", said Chidambaram.

Addressing reporters in Delhi, Chidambaram said the ED has "no jurisdiction" to conduct the searches and that some of these properties belonged to him.

"The officers told me that they thought Karti is an occupant of this house, but he is not", he added.

Sources say that the ED made a decision to conduct the raids since Karti failed to appear before the agency on 11 January as per the summons they had sent him.

Speaking from the Chennai residence, Karti Chidambaam's lawyer, Arun Natarajan, said, "Nothing was found and nothing was seized". And then in 2017, the money laundering case has been lodged by the ED against Karti along with two others. There were about five officials at their residence.

It is said that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board FIPB in 2006 granted approval for the Aircel-Maxis telecom deal when Mr Chidambaram was the finance minister.

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

During investigation, it was found that a company promoted by Karti and A. Palaniappan, a nephew of Chidambaram, allegedly received $2 lakh from Maxis Group in the guise of software consultancy.