INX Media PMLA case: ED grills Karti Chidambaram for six hours

New Delhi | Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, was questioned for about six hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday in connection with a money-laundering probe against him in the INX Media case.

Officials said Karti was summoned to record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He was grilled a number of times in the case in the past.

Karti arrived at the ED office in Jamnagar House in central Delhi at about 11 am and left shortly before 6 pm. He took about an hour-long break for lunch.

It is understood that Karti was confronted with certain statements of the other accused and witnesses in the case. Officials said he might be called again for questioning.

The ED had attached Karti’s assets worth an estimated Rs 54 crore, located in India and abroad, in the case last year.

The central probe agency had registered the PMLA case on the basis of a CBI FIR and had alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when P Chidambaram was the finance minister.

It had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED’s equivalent to a police FIR, against the accused named in the CBI complaint, including Karti, INX Media and its directors — Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.

Karti was arrested on February 28 last year by the CBI, the other central agency investigating the case, for allegedly taking money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media in 2007. He was granted bail subsequently.

The agency has alleged that Karti received money from INX Media, using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of FIPB conditions to receive investments from Mauritius.

Officials said P Chidambaram was also expected to be questioned in a money-laundering case at the same ED office on Friday.

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