Karti’s aide sent to transit remand for helping Chinese get visas by fraud

S. Bhaskara Raman, a close associate of Karti Chidambaram who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from Chennai in connection with a case lodged against him and others for helping Chinese nationals get visas by flouting the rules, was produced before a local court there which sent him to transit remand.

Bhaskara Raman, will be produced before the Rouse Avenue Court once he is brought to Delhi.

The CBI is all set to seek his two-week custody in the case.

On Tuesday, the federal probe agency had conducted raids at 10 locations across the nation including the house of Karti’s father, former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Later in the day, Chidambaram had criticised the CBI’s move saying he wasn’t named in the FIR.

A senior CBI official said that Karti Chidambaram and Bhaskara Raman were named as accused along with others including private firms. It is said that the senior Chidambaram allegedly helped them.

According to the FIR, a Mansa (Punjab) based private firm, Talwandi Sabo Power Limited, took the help of a middleman and allegedly paid Rs 50 lakh to get the visas issued for Chinese nationals which would help it in completing a project before the deadline.

“The private firm was in the process of establishing a 1980 MW thermal power plant and it was outsourced to a Chinese company. The project was running behind schedule. In order to avoid penal action for the delay, the private company was trying to bring more and more Chinese professionals to their site at District Mansa and needed project visas over and above the ceiling imposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs,” said the CBI official.

The official said that for this purpose, the representative of the private company approached a person based at Chennai through his close associate and thereafter they devised a back-door way to get around the ceiling (for maximum number of project visas permissible to the company’s plant) by granting permission to re-use 263 project visas allotted to the Chinese company’s officials.

The representative of the Mansa-based private company submitted a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking approval to re-use the project visas allotted to this company, which was approved within a month.

“A bribe of Rs 50 lakh was allegedly demanded by the person based at Chennai through his close associate which was paid by the Mansa-based private company. The payment of the bribe was routed from the private company to the person in Chennai and his close associate through a Mumbai-based company as payment of false invoice raised for consultancy and out of pocket expenses for Chinese visas related work whereas the private company based at Mumbai was never in any kind of work relating to visas, rather it was in an entirely different business of industrial knives,” said the CBI official.

It has been alleged that the senior Chidambaram helped the Chinese to get visas by flouting rules.

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