The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday conducted searches simultaneously at 27 places in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi, Perambalur and Ariyalur as part of its probe into the 2G spectrum scam.
The searches, which commenced around 7 a.m., were held throughout the day on the official/residential premises of persons either related to former Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology A. Raja or those considered close to him.
The searches were conducted at ‘Tamil Maiyam', an NGO founded by Jegath Gaspar Raj, in Mylapore. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Member of Parliament and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi is a trustee of ‘Tamil Maiyam,' the key organisation behind Chennai Sangamam, a high profile cultural event held since 2007.
Searches were also conducted at the office of A. Ramachandran, Director, Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, Anna University, and brother of Mr. Raja and at the Adyar residence of Kamaraj, associate editor of Tamil magazine ‘Nakheeran,' who hails from the Perambalur district, the home district of Mr. Raja.
Declining to comment on the involvement of the persons whose premises were raided, a senior CBI official said the searches were based on “reliable information.” The Chennai office of Vaishnavi Communications, managed by Niira Radia, and located on Khader Nawaz Khan Road in Nungambakkam, was also searched, besides the residences of a few auditors.
At the Canara Bank branch in Perambalur, the investigating agency sleuths conducted enquiries with respect to bank accounts of various persons. They carried out enquiries with Jaffer Ali, the brother of Sadiq Batcha, an aide of the former Union Minister and managing director of Green House Promoters.
The team also made a visit to Mr. Raja's residence at Velur in the district. Later, it searched the house of Subramanian, an associate of Sadiq Batcha in the real estate business, near Perambalur
The team made enquiries with David, an audit assistant of the real estate firm run by Sadiq Batcha, at the residence of Subramanian. It visited the house of Krishnamoorthy, a doctor, on Vivekanandar Street in Perambalur.
Later, searches were conducted at a few firms, including the one said to be owned by A. Kaliaperumal, brother of Mr. Raja.
Sources in the agency said another team went to the house of Mr. Raja's sister Vijayambal at Ganapathy Nagar and his brother A. Ramachandran at Shivaram Nagar – both in Thiruvanaikovil, Tiruchi. It carried out enquiries for nearly two hours at the residence of Raja's sister before leaving for the house of Mr. Ramachandran, who was not present at that time. In Ariyalur, a CBI team searched the premises of a wholesale agency, said to be owned by Mr. Kaliaperumal. The agency deals in products such as biscuits, cigarettes, the sources added.