The Income Tax’s Chennai Investigation Unit’s report having more than 200 pages about former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s family and especially son Karti and his companies’ huge assets in more than 14 countries are now out in the public domain. Recently some portion of this sensitive report was exposed in public by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy in a press conference. Many media houses whose owners are friendly and in collusion with Chidambaram tried to black out the news.
In the interest of public, we are producing the entire data of assets and bank accounts found in the joint raid of Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate. 21 foreign bank accounts by Karti and his companies in Metro Bank in UK, 4 accounts in OCBC in Singapore in the name of Advantage Strategic Consulting Pte Ltd, the controversial company caught in kickbacks in Aircel-Maxis scam, 2 banks in Spain namely Sabadell Atlantico, La Caxia Bank, HSBC UK, Barclays Bank in Monaco, Marseille BNP Paribas in France, UBS in Switzerland etc.
The Income Tax which seized hard disks from Karti’s companies found that P Chidambaram, wife Nalini Chidambaram, son Karti and his wife Srinidhi jointly purchased a property and a big palatial house in Cambridge in UK.
As per the Income tax seized documents, the property bought by Chidambaram and family is: 5, Holben Close, Cambridge, CB237AQ. This huge property and home was purchased from Edmund Suley Holt and Heather Holt and the money was transacted from Karti’s personal account in London’s Metro Bank account number: 16714313.
Chidambaram never declared this property in any of his mandatory affidavits as Member of Parliament (MP) or Minister. Chidambaram in his affidavit to Rajya Sabha in May 2016 declared
only 1/3rd portion of the property as wife Nalini’s property. He also under-invoiced the value of this property of his wife’s share at just Rs.1.55 crores, while UK’s real estate websites estimate this property in Cambridge to be worth more than Rs.85 crores.
Karti’s Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited‘s Singapore company’s bank accounts to buy properties in UK like purchase of 88 acres farm house known as Surridge Farm in Somerset, UK. The land value shown in the registry is one million pounds.
Another property in Cambridge is at Ceres, 29, Meade House at Cambridge.
Chidambaram’s son Karti has built a massive empire in different parts of the world by making investments in real estate and engaging in other business activities in London, Dubai, South Africa, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, British Virgin Island, France, USA, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. Most of the purchases happened during the period 2006 to 2014 when Chidambaram was Finance Minister and Home Minister. The probe agencies estimate these assets across the world are expected to be more than Three Billion Dollars.
Karti’s Singapore-based firm had acquired majority shares of a big resort in Sri Lanka, known as Lanka Fortune Residencies. This company owns the prestigious resorts ‘The Waterfront’, ‘Weligama.
Bay Resort’ and Emerald Bay Hotel. Karti’s Singapore firm routed money via Dubai to acquire three farms and vineyards in South Africa, identified as Rowey Farm in Grabouw, Cape Orchards and Vineyards Private Limited, and Zandvliet Enterprises, a wine and stud farm in Ashton. The Dubai-based Desert Dunes Properties Ltd has also investment in Karti’s Singapore-based company Advantage. The probes have unearthed a money trail of 1.7 million Singapore Dollars between these firms. Another Dubai-based company, Pearl Dubai FX LLC, also had financial transaction with Advantage. This shows that Karti linked firms have offices and assets in UAE also.
The Advantage’s Ceres, 29, Meade House had entered into joint ventures with the Philippines-based companies to obtain a franchise team of International Premier Tennis League (Asia). The Philippine firms, which were engaged in joint ventures with the Karti-controlled company, are SM Arena Complex Corporation, Sports Entertainment
Events Management Inc. The Advantage had also had financial transactions with another real estate company in Singapore known as Real Beyond Pvt. Ltd. having three subsidiaries in Malaysia. The investigation has unearthed that these transactions led to 16 land purchases in Thailand.
The Advantage’s Singapore unit has set up a firm in British Virgin Island (BVI), namely Somerset Surridge Ltd. Advantage also invested 400,000 Singapore dollars in another BVI firm known as Full Innovations Ltd. It also has financial dealing with Geben Trading Limited in BVI and offices in Switzerland. This firm’s major transactions were through the famous Swiss Bank, namely UBS. The investigators got proofs of transactions in Dollars and Euro.
The Advantage also has transaction of five million Singapore dollars with another firm in Singapore, namely Unison Global Investment Ltd. The Karti-controlled company in Singapore entered into joint ventures with Gravitas Investments, Match Point International Tennis
Events to buy a franchise Tennis team called ‘Manila Mavericks’. This deal was worth of 12 million US dollars and the money was paid in 10 instalments. Karti’s Singapore company also acquired a residential flat in Malaysia worth 1.9 million Malaysian Ringgits from a firm called
Peninsular Smart. The probe team also found some agreement papers which shows that the Advantage holds franchisees of Café’ Coffee Day in some locations in Malaysia. The investigators have found several transactions to Karti’s Singapore firm with Malaysian
companies. Malaysia is the head quarters of telecom giant Maxis which acquired Aircel in 2006.
The IT and ED officers seized payment details amounting to more than Rs.30 crore in foreign currencies. The Advantage in Singapore also opened a subsidiary firm in Barcelona in Spain known as Advantage Estrategia Esportiva SLU in August 2012. This is a sports academy having four acres with seven tennis courts in Spain. Karti-linked Singapore firm has also one million US dollar investment in a company in France known as Pampelonn Organisation. The Advantage also has transactions with a Greek firm known as Pisani John Sakellarios in Athens.
Karti’s firm Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited (ASCPL) had transactions with Aircel Televenutres, DCB Client, Diageo Scotland Limited, Katra Group, Sri Lanka Export Development Board, Unifi Wealth Management Ltd, VST Tillers Tractors, Carlton Trading Company, Claris Life Sciences’, ITC Centre, Best Land Realty Limited, Essar Steel Limited, Gokul Builders and Estates, S Kumar, INX Media, Reflections, Thiagarajar Mills Private Limited,
Saksoft, EL Forge Limited.
The Income Tax which seized hard disks from Karti’s companies also found that Karti used to get huge money as kickbacks in several Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) deals pending with father former Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
On Sept 22, 2008, ASCPL received Rs.35 Lakh from INX Media (now known as News X TV Channel), which applied for FIPB clearance of 220 million dollar during the period. Same day another Rs.60 Lakh was paid from INX Media to Northstar Software Solutions Pvt Ltd. Major shares of this Northstar Software Solutions Pvt Ltd controlled by C B N Reddy, who is a Benami and Director of ASCPL and its Singapore subsidiary also.
On Sept 24, 2008 another tranche of 20,000 Dollars were paid to ASCPL’s Singapore subsidiary by INX Media. On Sept 26, 2008, ASCPL had a money transaction of 50,000 dollars with Geben Trading Limited in Athens in Greece. This company’s address is 4 Zaf.Matsa Street, 14564 Athens, Greece and incorporated in British Virgin Islands (BVI). The money
transactions of ASCPL also show to Geben Trading’s bank account in UBS, Geneva in Switzerland. The emails of banking transaction details were marked to Karti also and documents shows about a business takeover of healthcare and rehabilitation centers in Greece.
All these transactions happened during the INX Media’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) approvals for 220 million dollar were pending with Karti’s father Finance Minister P Chidambaram. In short, the murder accused Peter and Indrani Mukherjea who sold
their INX Media paid around 9 crores rupees to Karti linked firms for FIPB clearance.
In August 2008, Karti’s Singapore company got 60 lakh shares in the media firm Network 18’s London based company Artevea Digital UK This deal happened when Network 18 applied for a series of FIPB clearances, when Chidambaram was the Finance Minister. This led to around 25 crores kickback for processing the FIPB clearance.
The documents unearthed by Income Tax shows that ASCPL received money from many companies when their FDI investment files were with FIPB and Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) during Chidambaram’s tenure as Finance Minister. The companies which transferred money to Karti’s ASCPL are Claris Life Sciences, Diageo Scotland Limited which acquired fugitive Vijay Mallya’s UB Spirits, Katra Group, Arcelor Mittal linked Saksoft, Reflections belong to Spark Capital Advisory Private Limited. As per the Income Tax Analysis Report, all these deals involve around Rs. 500 crores kickback to Karti linked companies for
necessary FIPB and CCEA clearances during Chidambaram’s period in Finance Ministry.
The documents seized from the raid also show that ASCPL received money from Best Land Realty, when the company got a Rs.304 crore loan from Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) Banks. In a bizarre incident, the British company Diageo Scotland Limited which acquired fugitive Vijay Mallya’s UB Spirits even paid 15,000 dollars as Service Charges to Karti’s ASCPL for fixing appointments with then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Chidambaram. Diageo’s emails thank Karti for fixing appointment of company owner Lord Blyth with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Chidambaram. The thanking email also attached the 15,000 dollar pay out receipt as Service Charges for fixing appointments with PM and FM. This is a clear case of abuse of power initiating case under Prevention of Corruption Act.
Another clear case of favoritism to son’s company by abusing power by Chidambaram is – In September 2006, Russia’s National Industrial Bank (Nazprom) appoints Karti’s ASCPL as Business Consultant for their Joint Venture with Indian Overseas Bank. The documents seized by Income Tax included ASCPL’s agreement with Russian Bank Nazprom and Nazprom’s series of communications with IOB including the meetings in Chennai. The emails show that
in each transactions with the Russian bank and PSU IOB, Karti’s ASCPL minted money in the form of consultancy. The Russian Bank’s agreement says Karti’s ASCPL’s Singapore subsidiary will get 5% as commission with all transactions with Indian Overseas Bank, apart from the initial 25,000 dollar processing fee.
This is a clear case of abuse of power by Finance Minister Chidambaram to get a cut for son Karti’s company for each money transfer between PSU Bank IOB and Russian Bank Nazprom.
Karti’s ASCPL also received huge money from a South African company Nicholas Stynes Associates Limited. This South African company was engaged in providing security to IPL Cricket and the money transactions with Karti’s company happened when Chidambaram was Home Minister. The documents also show that ASCPL got huge money as commission from Allianze Securities for sale of NABARD Bonds when Chidambaram was Finance Minister.
The money was paid to Finance Minister Chidambaram from Karti’s Meltrack Ltd in relation to sale of shares and selling of huge tract of land in Mysore to VST Tillers & Tractors Limited. The land was mortgaged to Union Bank of India. P Chidambaram was shown as unsecured creditor to Meltrack Limited. A very interesting thing in all Karti companies including ASCPL – there are five common Directors like C B N Reddy, Bhaskar Raman, Mohanan Rajesh, Ravi Viswanathan and V Padma. The Income Tax found that all these five persons have entered into a curious WILL that they owe all properties and assets to Karti or his daughter Aditi in consideration of respect and love to P Chidambaram! This shows that these five persons are nothing but Benamis of Karti and P Chidambaram. This is arguably one of the largest catch of black money in India from a politician’s family.
Source: All information provided according to the details given by the Income Tax department of India and Dr Subramanian Swamy.
Vaidya Kesava Iyer