What is the ED probe against Karthi Chidambaram about

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The Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department on Tuesday, Dec 1, furthered investigation against Karthi Chidambaram, son of former union minister P Chidambaram. Raids were conducted on firms linked to Karthi by sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate and the IT department in connection with the Aircel-Maxis scam.

The raids come a few months after the ED had summoned two directors of a company owned Karti Chidambaram. They were questioned about an alleged financial transaction between the company owned by Karti and Aircel. The deal was allegedly made just before the company was given an approval from the foreign investment promotion board.

Karti Chidambaram

The background:

The ED has been probing the alleged financial transaction between the company owned by Karti and Aircel. The deal was allegedly made just before the company was given an approval from the foreign investment promotion board. The ED is seeking to know why the company owned by Karti was allotted shares at a lower rate than the book value.

It had been alleged that the company controlled by Karti had benefited by earning huge profits during the sale of Aircel. It was alleged that Karti, benefited from Chidambaram's position as Finance Minister to earn huge profits during the sale of Aircel which Chidambaram sanctioned in 2006.

Senior BJP leader, Subramanian Swamy had alleged that the in 2005 Aircel was on the verge of bankruptcy. The owner of the company Sivasankaran was approached by Maxis which wanted to pick up a 74% stake in Aircel for nearly Rs 4,000 crores.

The Vasan case:

The Enforcement Directorate is also probing if there were any financial dealings between the companies owned by Karti Chidambaram and V Dwarakanathan who is a stake holder in the Vasan Health Care Private Ltd. The ED had sought to know from Dwarakanathan about some of the transactions he had made with the companies that were owned by Karti.

The ED is also probing some transactions of Vasan Health Care Pvt Ltd which is a conglomerate owning 175 hospitals in India, Colombo and Dubai. The ED seeks to know about the sale of 1.5 lakh shares to the Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited in October 2008.

An official with the ED informed OneIndia that they are trying to find out if Karti has a stake in any of these firms. This probe comes in the wake of another probe by the ED. The ED has been probing an ambulance scam involving the Ziqitza Health Care Ltd. Karti had however clarified that he is not a stakeholder in that company.

The probe by the ED is to find out the transactions which involved huge sums of money which went into Vasan Health Care Pvt Ltd (VHPCL). The ED is trying to ascertain if Karti Chidambaram had a role in these transactions and if he is linked with VHPCL.

The ED says that it is probing the case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of 2002.

The ED sought information from Dwarakanathan on the IT returns he has filed from 2004 to 2011, the details of assets, bank accounts and transactions he has done with the companies in which Karti has a stake.

The allegation is that VHPCL which was incorporated in the year 2007 with Dr Arun and his wife, Meera as the first shareholders. It was also alleged that three lakh shares were given to Dwarakanathan.

However, the allegation was that Dwarakanathan transferred 1.5 lakh shares to a company known as Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Ltd, two third of which is owned by Ausbridge Holdings and Investments Private Ltd alleged to be held by Karti.

Why were shares purchased at a premium by Dwarakanathan and sell it at a loss? The ED will probe into this angle and see if this deal helped VCPHL grow leaps and bounds, the ED will also look to find out.

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