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CBI Raids 34 Premises Including Radia In 2G Scam; ED Joins In

New Delhi/Chennai, Dec 15 (PTI) In a crackdown as part of the 2G spectrum scam probe, CBI today searched 34 offices and residences of corporate lobbyist Nira Radia, former TRAI Chairman Pradip Baijal, siblings of
PTI December 15, 2010 20:31 IST
New Delhi/Chennai, Dec 15 (PTI) In a crackdown as part of the 2G spectrum scam probe, CBI today searched 34 offices and residences of corporate lobbyist Nira Radia, former TRAI Chairman Pradip Baijal, siblings of ex-Telecom Minister A Raja and an NGO linked to DMK MP Kanimozhi.

A CBI official claimed that some "incriminating documents" were recovered during the raids at 27 places in Tamil Nadu and seven places in Delhi and Noida. The premisesof alleged Hawala dealers Mahesh Jain and Alok Jain alias Bobby, who are brothers, were also raided.

The premises of Kamaraj, Associate Editor of Tamil magazine 'Nakkeran' in Chennai, Raja's brother and sister near Tiruchirappalli and Tamil Maiyam, an NGO in which Kanimozhi, daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, is on the Board of Directors were among those searched. Kamaraj is considered close to Raja.

Tamil Maiyam, which describes itself as a registered Indian non-profit organization, is headed by Rev.Jegath Gasper Raj.

The investigating agency also swooped down on the premises of Raja's auditor Subramanyam and also auditor of Kanimozhi's mother Rajathi.

At Tiruchirappalli, CBI officials raided the residence of a private TV channel reporter G L Narasimhan, considered aclose associate of Raja.

The raids come a week after the searches in the homes of Raja in Delhi and in his native place Perambalur and a numberof others.

During the course of the day, the CBI also roped in Enforcement Directorate officials to probe whether there was a possible violation of Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA), sources in the investigating agency said.

Radia, Baijal, Jain brothers and the kin of Raja were questioned during the raids, the sources said, adding that the former TRAI Chairman had also been taken from his Noida houseto his company, a subsidary of Radia's Vaishnavi Corporate Communications.

Giving details about the raids being conducted by the CBI, itsĀ  Deputy Inspector General and spokesperson Bineeta Thakur said searches at the residential and official premisesof several companies, their directors and Baijal were conducted as part of the follow up of searches conducted on December eight in connection with the ongoing investigation into the allocation of unified access service licences.

'Searches conducted so far at around 34 places in Tamil Nadu, Delhi and NOIDA (UP) have led to the recovery of incriminating documents," she told reporters in New Delhi.

Radia's office--Vaishnavi Corporate Communications in Central Delhi--and her farm house in South Delhi were among the first of the premises to be raided, sources said, addingsome of the persons who had been closely associated with the handling of accounts and funds of Raja were also been searched by the agency.

The residence of Baijal, who retired in 2006 after serving as TRAI chairman for nearly three years, was being also searched in connection with the scam in which CBI has registered a case of loss of Rs 22,000 crore to the exchequer.

An IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, Baijal is currently working with Radia's firm Noesis. The allegation against him was that as the chairman of the regulatory body, which makes recommendations to government, he had helped some telecom firms.

Kamraj and the Jain brothers have been under the scanner of the CBI for some time in connection with the investigations into the scam.

An export office in Chawri Bazar in Delhi was also searched by the CBI, the sources said, adding the firm is
alleged to have been used for transfer of funds.

The CBI had on December eight carried out searches at the residence of Raja and his four close associates including his personal secretary R K Chandolia in connection with the scam.

According to the CBI, searches were carried out in the premises of Green House Promoters Pvt Ltd, Equaas Estates Pvt Ltd, Kadir Kamam Estates, Shivakaman Estaes, Kowai Shelters Promoters, AGM Investments and finances, Wellcone Telecom, Sally Road Systems Pvt Ltd and Genex Exim Ventures Pvt Ltd.

Besides premises of J G group, Ayyapa Pvt Ltd and Sally Thermoplastics were also raided, the agency said.

The CBI had on October 21 last year registered a case against unknown officials of Department of Telecommunication and unknown private persons or companies and others under different Sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.

47-year-old Raja was forced to resign as minister on November 14 in the wake of the CAG's report that the rates at which 2G spectrum was allotted resulted in a possible loss to the exchequer to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

Raids were also conducted at the residences of former Telecom Secretary Siddarth Behura, Chandolia, Member Telecom Commission K Sridhar and Deputy Director General in the Department of Telecom A K Srivastava.

Raja has been maintaining that he was ready for questioning by the CBI any time.

The CBI has earlier searched offices of Wireless Planning Cell (WPC), the department responsible for allocatingSpectrum, and the office of Deputy Director General (Access Services) of the Telecom Ministry to probe the allegations ofconnivance of officials with private companies in allocation of Spectrum. PTI