Chennai: Officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday conducted search and survey at six places including those of kin of former union Minister P Chidambaram in connection with the investigation of FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006. The searches come days after the Supreme Court approved Karti Chidambaram's trip out of the country for his daughter's admission at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
ED officials said that the searches were conducted at the offices and premises of four persons in Chennai and Kolkatta. Among those properties that were searched include Sadayavel Kailasam, brother-in-law of the former union minister. His office and residence in Teynampet were searched, according to sources. Apart from Kailasam, ED officials also conducted searches in properties of Sujay Sambamoorthy in Tiruvanmiyur and that of Ramji Natarajan in Alwarpet who runs a famous travels company that facilitates shooting of films abroad in exotic locations.
In Kolkata, two locations belonging to one Manoj Mohanka on Lee road and Lovelock Place were being searched, sources said. According to sources in the agency, the searches were conducted to investigate the circumstances under which the FIPB approval was granted by then finance minister Chidambaram.
Reacting to the searches by the central agency, P Chidambaram said, “I will not be intimidated. As and when the attachment order is served, suitable action will be taken in accordance with law”. The former Union Minister had on several occasions pointed out that the FIPB clearance to Maxis was granted in the normal course.
ED had attached assets worth `1.6 crore of Karti Chidambaram in the same case earlier this year. ED had also said that Karti closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close other bank accounts in order to frustrate the process of attachment” under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act). Meanwhile, Sadayavel Kailasam, the former Union Minister's brother-in-law reacted sharply to the searches at his properties on Friday. “It was a completely unjustified and unwarranted search. Nothing was found and nothing was seized”, a statement from his advocate read.
The statement further said that Sadayavel Kailasam is an Income tax assessee for many years and has disclosed his assets and liabilities in annual returns. “He has no undisclosed asset. Yet, the Enforcement Directorate, in excess of its jurisdiction, conducted a fishing and roving enquiry and in the end, found nothing”, the statement added....