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Probing money transferred, invested abroad by Karti's firm: ED tells court
The Enforcement Directorate has told a Delhi court that it is investigating the transfer of Rs 32.91 crore by Karti P Chidambaram's firm to a Singapore-based company and another investment of Rs 15.79 crore with erstwhile French tennis player Jean-Francois Caujolle.
The agency in its charge sheet filed yesterday accused Karti P Chidambaram of non-cooperation in the Aircel-Maxis deal money laundering probe.
It said that Advantage Strategic Consultancies Private Limited (ASCPL), controlled by Karti, has transferred funds to Singapore-based Advantage Strategic Consulting Singapore Pvt Ltd so that the funds collected in India in ASCPL may be used by him outside the country.
The charge sheet further informed that ED is probing two million euro (Rs 15.79 crore) invested by ASCPL with Caujolle, alleging that Karti did not cooperate in connection with a mail exchanged between him and the tennis player.
ED's Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Nitesh Rana submitted before the court that ASCSPL was incorporated on August 29, 2006 by Padma Bhaskararamana, a director in ASCPL, and A Selvakumar as per the directions of Karti, it said, adding that the funds were transferred under the cover of the loan and equity investment.
"It is submitted that this court has issued on December 1, 2015 Letter of Request under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for investigation in Singapore. The response is still awaited.
"Further investigation to identify identify assets laundered abroad is still continuing. The probe has revealed that although Advantage Singapore was incorporated in 2006, the reports to RBI in respect to these investments were filed only from 2011 onwards. At this stage use of this company to receive illegal gratification overseas is not ruled out," ED's SPP N K Matta submitted in the charge sheet.
The charge sheet further informed that the ED is probing two million euro (Rs 15.79 crore) invested by ASCPL with Caujolle, alleging that Karti did not cooperate in relation to a mail exchanged between him and the tennis player.
"The extracts of his statement reveal his non-cooperation with the probe, his evasive replies and avoidance to state the truth. For example, for recording of his statement on April 10, Kari was shown an email dated October 28, 2014 where Karti was in discussion with J F Caujolle for an investment of Euro two million for 20 per cent stake.
"On being asked about the mail, Karti replied that the question had nothing to do with the case, that Caujolle is a respected figure in tennis and was discussion a potential opportunity. It may be highlighted here that ASCPL, controlled by Karti, made an investment with Caujolle which is still investigation," the charge sheet, filed through advocate A R Aditya, said.
The email sent in October 2014 talks about an investment was made in relation with a tennis tournament Stuttgart and Vienna cities.
In the charge sheet, the ED has alleged that Karti controlled two firms -- ASCPL and Chess Management Services Pvt Limited (CMSPL) -- which allegedly received Rs 1.16 crore as bribe money in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.
Apart from Karti, the agency has also named ASCPL and its directors Padma Bhaskararamana and Ravi Viswanathan, and CMSPL and its director Annamalai Palaniappa in the charge sheet under section 4 (punishment for money laundering) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had registered the case under the sections of PMLA on February 7, 2012 on basis of an FIR registered by the CBI.
The agency told the court that it might file a supplementary charge sheet in the case.
The court has already granted interim protection from arrest till July 10 to Karti in two cases filed by the CBI and the ED in 2011 and 2012, respectively in the Aircel-Maxis matter arising out of 2G spectrum cases, while his anticipatory bail plea is pending before the court.
P Chidambaram has also been granted protection from arrest till July 10 by a court here in the present money laundering case while his anticipatory bail is pending before the court.
The matter pertains to grant of FIPB clearance to M/s Global Communication Holding Services Ltd for investment in Aircel.
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