Aircel-Maxis deal: ED summons to two

The Enforcement Directorate has summoned two directors of a private firm in connection with the ongoing money laundering investigations into the 2006 Aircel-Maxis deal.

The directors of Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited, C.B.N. Reddy and Ravi Viswanathan, have been asked to present themselves before the investigating team next month.

A Rs. 26-lakh transaction between Advantage Strategic and Aircel Televentures in 2006 is under ED scrutiny. While the purpose of the transaction is being probed, the agency is also trying to ascertain whether former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram was once associated with the company.

The company owners had earlier contended that they had not made any investments in Aircel. It is also learnt that Karti had no stakes in Advantage Strategic at the time of the said transaction.

About three years ago, the then Janata Party chief, Subramanian Swamy, >alleged that Karti received a 5 per cent stake in Aircel. It was also alleged that Karti owned 94 per cent in one company named Ausbridge Holdings Investments, which had a majority stake in Advantage Strategic.

As part of its probe into the Aircel-Maxis deal, the ED has already issued an order for provisional attachment of assets worth Rs. 742.58 crore held by former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran and wife Kaveri Kalanithi.

However, last week, the Supreme Court stayed ED attachment proceedings before the Adjudicating Authority against Sun TV assets.

The ED is probing the deal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, on the basis of the CBI allegations that the former Telecom Minister received illegal gratification from Maxis.

The Rs. 3,500-crore deal came under the CBI scanner after Aircel owner C. Sivasankaran lodged a complaint in April-May 2011 alleging he was forced to sell his stake to Maxis.

In its first charge sheet, the CBI submitted before a Delhi court that it is also probing the role of the then Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, in connection with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to the Maxis investment in Aircel.

Karti denies charges PTI reports:

However, Karti refuted the allegations. When contacted by PTI, Karti denied receiving any summons. “Neither me, nor my company or any company where I am a shareholder, have received any ED summons,” he said.

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Printable version | May 9, 2022 4:50:16 pm |