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ED quizzes Karti on buying assets abroad via shell firms


Karti Chidambaram


New Delhi: Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, here on Monday, appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning as summoned in connection with alleged violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the INX media case.

An ED official said Karti was summoned following new developments regarding his association with shell companies that received the siphoned off payments and invested that in properties abroad.

During the custodial interrogation of Chidambaram, the agency unearthed new evidence and thus Karti, the main accused in the case, was questioned, said the official.

Earlier this year, Karti, a Lok Sabha member from Tamil Nadu's Sivaganga, had skipped ED summons citing his preoccupation with Pongal festival.

Chidambaram, arrested on August 21 by the CBI and later by the ED, had spent 106 days in the custody.

The ED and the CBI are probing how Karti managed clearance for INX Media from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2007 when his father was a Minister.

According to the probe, INX Media directors Peter and Indrani Mukerjea had met Chidambaram to prevent any hold-up or delay in the FIPB approval.

Karti was arrested on February 28, 2018, by the CBI for allegedly accepting money to facilitate the FIPB clearance. He was later granted bail.

The ED registered a PMLA case based on a CBI FIR and alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving Rs 305 crore overseas funds in 2007. The agency has said the money received by associated entities was channelled back into the ASCPL.

The ED has attached Rs 54 crore properties of Karti and a firm in the case. It has also attached Mukerjeas' properties in the case.

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