Assets of Karti Chidambaram attached by ED involved in money laundering, alleges PMLA

The central probe agency had provisionally attached fixed deposits and bank balances in the name of Karti and a firm "indirectly controlled" by him in September last year.

Assets of Karti Chidambaram attached by ED involved in money laundering, alleges PMLA

NEW DELHI: The adjudicating authority of the PMLA on Tuesday confirmed Rs 1.16 crore assets attached by the Enforcement Directorate in the name of former union minister's son Karti Chidambaram and a firm allegedly linked to him in the Aircel Maxis case and alleged that they were involved in money laundering.

The central probe agency had provisionally attached fixed deposits and bank balances in the name of Karti and a firm "indirectly controlled" by him in September last year.

"Adjudicating authority of PMLA confirms attachment of assets worth Rs 1.16 crore of Karti Chidambaram and Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd in Aircel Maxis case," the central probe agency said in a statement.

The assets have been called as that involved in money laundering and the ED will soon seize them, agency sources said.

The ED, as part of the provisional order issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act last year, had attached Rs 1.16 crore worth assets "of Karti in the form of fixed deposits and balance in saving bank account to the tune of Rs 90 lakh approximately."

It had also attached another Rs 26 lakh fixed deposits in the name of the firm Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited (ASCPL) under the provisions of the anti-money laundering law.

This firm is allegedly linked to Karti and the Enforcement Directorate had said it was "controlled" by him through another person.

The ED had also alleged that Karti had "disposed" of a property in Gurgaon and had "closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close other bank accounts in order to frustrate the process of attachment" under the PMLA.

The agency is probing the Aircel-Maxis deal, as part of the 2G spectrum allocation case, after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR in the case. The FIPB clearance given in this case is under the agency's scanner.

The accused can appeal against this order, issued by the authority, before the Appellate Tribunal of the Act.

Meanwhile, Karti is in the judicial custody till March 24 in the alleged INX Media bribery case. On Monday, Delhi's Patiala House Court extended his judicial custody, while dismissing his plea for early hearing of his bail application.

He was arrested on his return from the United Kingdom in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 last year. It alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds of about Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was Union finance minister.

The CBI had initially alleged that Karti Chidambaram received Rs 10 lakh as bribe for facilitating Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media. It, however, later revised the figure to USD 1 million (about Rs 6.50 crore at the current exchange rate and Rs 4.50 crore in 2007).

The fresh evidence in the case, which triggered Karti Chidambaram's arrest, was based on the statement of Indrani Mukerjea, former co-director of INX Media (P) Ltd, who recorded it under section 164 of the CrPC before a magistrate on February 17. 

(With PTI inputs)

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