CBI Raids Congress's Karti Chidambaram In New 'Bribe-For-Visa' Case

Seven premises linked to Karti Chidambaram - the son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram - and his associates were searched across Chennai, Mumbai, Odisha, and Delhi, sources said.

Karti Chidambaram was arrested by CBI in February 2018 and he was granted bail in March 2018.

New Delhi:

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram's home and offices were searched today by the CBI over allegations of 'bribe-for-visas'. Seven premises linked to Karti Chidambaram - the son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram - and his associates were searched across Chennai, Mumbai, Odisha, and Delhi, sources said.

The investigation agency has registered a fresh case against Karti Chidambaram, sources say, accusing him of receiving Rs 50 lakh as bribe to facilitate the visa of 263 Chinese nationals for a power project in Punjab between 2010-14. He is named as "Accused No.2".

The CBI also searched P Chidambaram's 80 Lodhi Estate home in Delhi, questioned the staff and took some documents, sources said.

"There were total seven members in the CBI team. Karti Chidambaram was not at his residence during the raid at 7.30 am," said Birbal Singh, the security guard posted at his house.

"I have lost count, how many times has it been? Must be a record," Karti Chidambaram tweeted shortly after news of the raids emerged.

Karti Chidambaram is being investigated in several cases, including his alleged role in facilitating Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving Rs 305 in foreign funds when his father P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister.

Sources say while investigating the INX media case, the agency found documents linked to the new case involving bribe allegations.

The CBI registered a corruption case on May 15, 2017. Subsequently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a money laundering case. The economic offences watchdog also registered a PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) case based on an FIR registered by the CBI.

Karti Chidambaram was arrested by CBI in February 2018, and he was granted bail after a month in March.

P Chidambaram questioned the timing of the search and said that the CBI team "found nothing and seized nothing."

"This morning, a CBI team searched my residence at Chennai and my official residence at Delhi. The team showed me an FIR in which I am not named as an accused. The search team found nothing and seized nothing. I may point out that the timing of the search is interesting," Mr Chidambaram tweeted.

The power company in question, TSPL, said, "The searches at our Punjab facility have been part of a larger CBI investigation. We are extending full cooperation to the authorities and facilitating the due process."

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