CBI sounds raid alert for Niira Radia, A Raja’s friends

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Chennai
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  • Updated: Dec 16, 2010 02:20 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday raided the homes and offices of lobbyist Niira Radia, former telecom regulator Pradip Baijal and 13 others close to former telecom minister A Raja in connection with its probe into the R1.76-lakh-crore 2G spectrum scam.

The raids, at seven locations in Delhi and 27 in Tamil Nadu, came a week after the December 8 raids by the CBI on Raja and five of his associates and brought the investigation perilously close to DMK chief and Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi’s family.

The office of Tamil Maiyam, an NGO in which Karunanidhi’s daughter and MP Kanimozhi is a director, was among the premises raided. Her mother Rajathi’s auditor was also raided.
Kanimozhi declined to comment on the raids, which have belied Karunanidhi’s hope that Raja’s resignation and last week’s raids would ease some of the heat he and his party have faced in the aftermath of the scam.

“Searches conducted so far at around 34 places in Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Noida have led to the recovery of incriminating documents. Searches are still going on,’’ CBI spokesperson Vinita Thakur said in Delhi.

The raids also targeted Raja’s two brothers, several close associates, Rev Jegath Gasper Raj, managing trustee of Tamil Maiyam, a journalist working for Tamil publication Nakkeeran and several companies suspected of having helped launder the scam money.

By afternoon, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) had called in Enforcement Directorate sleuths while raiding the homes and offices of suspected hawala operators Mahesh and Alok Jain.

The Jains are alleged to have transferred money abroad through the hawala route on the instructions of former telecom minister A Raja.

Meanwhile, Radia’s firm  Vaishnavi Corporate Communications said in a statement:  “We have extended all cooperation to the authorities and will continue to do so in the ongoing investigations.”


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