Agency on Monaco Trail as it Goes After Firms Tied to Karti

ED probing the Aircel-Maxis deal, has sought to obtain details of some companies based in Monaco, a tax haven.

Published: 21st April 2016 04:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st April 2016 06:21 AM   |  A+A-


Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram (File Photo/PTI)

NEW DELHI: Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti are in for more trouble as the Enforcement Directorate (ED), probing the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal, has sought the help of the Ministry of External Affairs to obtain details of some companies based in Monaco, a tax haven in Western Europe. Top government sources said the request was sent in March after the ED unearthed leads during the probe of companies linked to Karti and his associates.

“There are links between a Singapore-based company, which is under the scanner, and certain firms based in Monaco. The agency has sought information related to transactions between the companies. We have a tax information exchange agreement with Monaco for sharing banking and ownership data to check money laundering and hopefully the desired inputs will be provided by our counterparts,” said the sources.

The agency had in February informed a special court hearing the 2G case that it was probing the FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal during the tenure of Chidambaram and awaiting response to Letters Rogatory from Singapore and UK. The ED, probing dubious transactions linked to the Aircel-Maxis deal, had recently searched Sequoia Capital in Bengaluru which allegedly invested in Vasan Healthcare, a Chennai-based firm.

Officials suspected money laundering in the sale of Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis. The ED, in its latest chargesheet, said Sequoia Capital India Investments and Holdings III of Mauritius purchased 30,000 shares of Vasan Health Care Pvt Ltd from Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd in 2009 for Rs 22.50 crore at Rs 7,500 a share.

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