AM Arun, the founder of Tamil Nadu based Vasan Eye Care, one of the largest eye and dental care chains of the country, passed away on Monday in Chennai. The cause of the death of 51-year-old Arun, who came to media limelight after the allegations of involvement in money laundering with Karti Chidambaram, son of P Chidambaram, remains unclear.
Relatives of Arun have raised suspicion over the cause of Arun’s death and claimed that he could have been killed. “They claimed that he could’ve killed himself, and created ruckus at the hospital,” said a police officer.
So far, the police have claimed that his death is not by suicide. “He (Dr Arun) was found motionless in his home and was rushed to a hospital. We understand from the inputs that his death was not by suicide,” a senior police official told PTI. Therefore, the family members are arguing that this could be a well-planned murder.
Income Tax officials had raided the office of Arun previously and he was also under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate, the premier financial crime investigation agency. S Gurumurthy, a chartered Accountant and activist against black money, has published an article in The New Indian Express in 2015, in which he claimed that Karti Chidambaram and P Chidambaram invested black money in Vasan eye care. As per the article, Chidambaram family black money worth 233 crore rupees in Vasan eye care through Mauritius and they are actual owners of the company.
Karti Chidambaram expressed grief over the death of Arun. Karti P Chidambaram said he is “saddened by the untimely passing away” of Arun. “He was a pioneer who envisioned & built a great company which attracted big PE @Sequoia_India @sequoia @Temasek, unfortunately, was hounded by agencies for collateral purposes. RIP,” he tweeted.
PGurus, an online platform which is well-known for exposing financial frauds related to NDTV and P Chidambaram, in an article published in June this year, argued that Chidamabaram family used the bribe money of INX Media to purchase shares of Vasan Eye Care Group. “The charge sheet filed before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar detailed money laundering of Karti and his companies from the bribe money of INX Media of around Rs. Five crores and proceeds of crime leading to the purchase of shares in Vasan Eye Care Group and making huge profits and purchase of properties abroad,” reads the article by PGurus.
The untimely death of Arun at a time when investigation authorities were investigating his role in laundering black money for the Chidambaram family is sad. “Vasan Eye Care founder AM Arun passes away in Chennai, suspicious death case filed. Chidambaram is facing allegations of massive money laundering scam through Vasan,” tweeted Journalist Abhijit Majumdar.
Vasan Eye Care founder AM Arun passes away in Chennai, suspicious death case filed. Chidambaram is facing allegations of massive money laundering scam through Vasan. https://t.co/eBL5Gg2s3e
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) November 17, 2020
The AIADMK led government must carry out a thorough investigation of the matter to know whether Arun died due to natural causes or it is a well-planned murder.