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ED Issues Summons To Karti Chidambaram In Aircel-Maxis Deal Probe

The Enforcement Directorate ( ED) has issued summons to Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P Chidamabram, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal of the 2G scam.

Officials said the agency had issued a notice to Karti to present himself in person or through an authorised representative and submit personal financial documents and those related to a firm this week.

This is the first time that a notice has been issued to Karti in the case which is being investigated since last year. Sources said the summons have been issued by the Investigating Officer of the case and Deputy Director Rajeshwar Singh. It is understood that Karti has now sought more time to comply.

The probe pertains to firms identified as Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited and Chess Global Advisory Services Pvt Ltd, where Karti had been a director, and a few others for alleged violations under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The agency, along with the IT department, had conducted search and seizure operations on the business premises of Chess Global firm in Chennai in the presence of Karti last December.

While Karti has denied any wrongdoing and has reiterated his cooperation with probe agencies, his father P Chidambaram had accused the government of launching a “malicious onslaught” against his family.

“If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics,” the Congress leader had said.

In August last year, the Enforcement Directorate had issued summonses to two directors of a firm linked to Karti in connection with the probe in this case. ED's probe had found that Rs 26 lakh has been allegedly sent from the firm to Aircel Televentures. The Aircel-Maxis deal is being probed by both ED and CBI and the case is a part of the overall probe in the 2G scam case.

ED is also getting in touch with a number of countries like UAE, South Africa, US, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, France, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and British Virgin Islands on a reciprocal arrangement basis to obtain further leads in this case.

The probe agency had also filed a charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis deal that was part of the 2G spectrum allocation case and had named former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi, his wife Kavery Kalanithi and few other individuals and two companies as accused in the case.

The agency had also told the court that further probe relating to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal and related issues are subject of further investigation under anti-money laundering laws. It had said the approval was given when Chidambaram was Finance Minister in 2006.

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