Aircel Maxis case: ED searches houses of Chidambaram's kin, three others

New Delhi, Dec 2 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday searched six locations in Kolkata and Chennai connected to four persons including a relative of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in a probe into FIPB approval in the Aircel Maxis deal case.

The agency conducted the searches at four locations in Chennai and two in Kolkata. 

An official said one of the raids in Chennai was at the properties of Sadaiwail Kailasham, Chidamabaram's relative. The residences of S. Sambamoorthy and Ramji Natarajan were also raided. In Kolkata, two premises of Manoj Mohanka were searched.

The raids are a part of ED investigation in a money laundering case registered this year against Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram. 

The ED, in September, had attached Rs 1.16 crore worth of assets of Karti, who is being probed for allegedly receiving kickbacks in lieu of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance in the Aircel Maxis deal when his father was the Union Finance Minister.

The FIPB approval was supposed to go to the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs but Chidambaram senior allegedly approved it on his own and the amount for FIPB clearance was wrongly projected to conceal 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, an official said.

The official said Karti sold a house in Gurgaon the ED was planning to attach. "This house was given on rent to a company granted FIPB approval by P. Chidambaram."