Congress stalwart and former finance minister P Chidambaram has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in relation with its money-laundering investigation in an alleged aviation scam during the UPA tenure.
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) August 19, 2019
The law enforcement agency has asked P Chidamabaram to depose before the investigating officer on August 23 in ED office to record his statement. The case is related to the losses endured by Air India due to purported multi-crore aviation scam and wrongdoing in fixing air slots for international airlines.
Prior to this, former aviation minister Praful Patel was previously questioned by the ED in the same aviation scam case.
It was earlier reported in February that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had found dubious deposits alleged to be the kickbacks paid by the international airlines into several accounts of extradited Congress era lobbyist Deepak Talwar. The ED had discovered Rs 270 crores deposited in Bank of Singapore by international airlines and another Rs 88 crore received in his NGO to influence some top ministers and bureaucrats in the previous UPA regime, reported Times of India.
According to reports, France based Airbus SAS and UK-based MBDA had paid around ₹90.72 crore to Advantage India for education and healthcare-related activities. Advantage India is an NGO owned by Deepak Talwar. In 2010, Advantage received ₹45 crore from Airbus, while in 2012-13 the NGO was paid ₹20.9 crore by Airbus and ₹13.7 crore by MBDA, in violation of FCRA rules.
When the accounts of the NGO were investigated by the Income Tax department, it was revealed the amount was not used in any healthcare or education activities. Instead, the fund was diverted to accounts belonging to Deepak Talwar and his family members. Investigations were initiated into the matter in the US too.
P Chidambaram is also being investigated by ED in two other cases of Aircel-Maxis and INX Media. A case was registered in the matter in 2017 against alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds of Rs. 305 crores in 2007, when Chidambaram was finance minister.