Clearing the air over the cases being faced by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, ED and CBI have said that the INX Media is not the only case that is being investigated by the probe agencies. In a statement, the ED and CBI have informed that P Chidambaram is being probed into illegal FIPB approval granted to several companies, and also money laundering of kickbacks received in return to those FIPB approvals.
The statement says that as a finance minister, P Chidambaram had granted illegal FIPB approval to several companies, which are Aircel Maxis, INX Media, Diageo Scotland Ltd., Katara Holdings, Essar Steel Ltd. and Elforge Ltd. The CBI is investigating the offences of illegal FIPB approvals given in lieu of kickback paid to various shell companies floated by Karti Chidambaram on the name of his employee and other business associates. While ED is probing the money laundering of the kickback and its investments in movable and immovable properties in India and foreign countries.
Refuting the contention of Chidambaram’s lawyers that investigations against P Chidambaram and his son have been completed and there is no need of custodial interrogation, the statement says that investigations are still going on. Chargesheet has been filed only in the Aircel Maxis case, but probe under PMLA under this case is also is not completed yet due to deliberate withholding of information by the Congress leader.
Making an explosive revelation, the statement says that both P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram are owners of several shell companies used to launder money and route foreign investments. It says that the official shareholders and directors of a main shell company have made Will of transferring entire shareholding of the shell company to both of them.
ED and CBI have said that money parked in the shell companies have used for the personal expenditure of the Chidambaram family, opening more than 2 dozen foreign bank accounts and depositing money in them, purchasing several immovable properties in different countries like Malaysia, UK, Spain etc.
The shell company of Sh. Karti P. Chidambaram has also received huge payments from a company located in the British Virgin Islands and this company is figured in Panama Papers.
The statement alleges that even though several incriminating document and emails were seized by ED ad CBI during search operation from the premises of P. Chidambaram and Karti P. Chidambaram, both the accused have not cooperated during interrogation and have deliberately refused to divulge any information about their investments in foreign bank account and immovable properties located in several other countries.
Noting that both of them are on anticipatory bail since the beginning of 2018, the probe agencies say that non-cooperation in providing information is delaying the completion of the investigation. They are not divulging required information despite having personal knowledge about the same, and therefore the agencies have to use a time-consuming process to gather data, by issuing LRs to several foreign jurisdictions.
Both CBI and ED could not get a chance to interrogate Sh. P. Chidambaram in their custody as permitted under the law due to anticipatory bails granted to the accused on multiple occasions, the statement adds.
Yesterday the Delhi High Court rejected anticipatory bail plea of P Chidambaram, and the Supreme Court also refused to urgently hear his requesting seeking interim protection from arrest, as the petition had defects, and the CJI was busy with the Ayodhya case hearing. He has been missing since yesterday while ED and CBI have issued lookout circulars for him.