Chinese visa scam | Enforcement Directorate registers money-laundering case against Karti Chidambaram, others

Karti Chidambaram. File

Karti Chidambaram. File | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated a money laundering probe on the basis of a case recently registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation involving Congress MP Karti Chidambaram and others in connection with the alleged visa scam.

Mr. Karti has refuted the allegations against him, terming them a “witch hunt”. Following searches at multiple locations, the CBI earlier arrested his close associate S. Bhaskar Raman and got his custody from a special court for interrogation.

According to the CBI, in 2011, Talwandi Sabo Power Limited (TSPL) was in the process of setting up a 1980 MW thermal power plant at Mansa in Punjab. The work was outsourced to a Chinese company named Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation (SEPCO).

As the project was running behind schedule leading to financial repercussions in terms of penalty, interest on bank loans etc, the company attempted to bring in more Chinese persons/professionals to the work site for which it required project visas over and above the ceiling imposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

It is alleged that the company’s representative Vikas Makharia approached Mr. Raman and then submitted a request letter dated July 30, 2011, to the MHA (Foreigners Division) seeking permission to re-use the project visas issued to the company. The CBI’s Investigation Officer in his report Mr. Raman demanded ₹50 lakh for the purpose.

On August 30, 2011, the company was given an approval for the re-use of 263 project visas and the bribe allegedly paid in cash to Mr. Raman.

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Printable version | May 26, 2022 2:20:25 am |