A special CBI court, conducting trial in the Sheena Bora murder case, on Thursday allowed the Enforcement Directorate to question former media baron Peter Mukerjea in a money laundering case. Special CBI court judge J C Jagdale allowed the ED to interrogate Peter Mukerjea at Arthur Road Jail at Mumbai on Friday and Saturday. Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea are in judicial custody in the Sheena Bora murder case. In May this year, the ED registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against INX Media and its directors Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea, and others.
It had sought the Mumbai court’s permission to question Peter Mukerjea. Earlier the court had allowed the agency to interrogate Indrani Mukerjea in the same case.
The Mukerjea couple allegedly “siphoned off 90 million GBP (Great Britain Pounds) and this money is suspected to have gone overseas through unauthorised route of hawala etc,” the ED had said in its plea.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) had permitted INX Media to receive an FDI for Rs 46.2 million, however, it received foreign investment totalling Rs 3,053.6 million during August 2007 to May 2008, the ED alleged.
This excess foreign exchange came from three Mauritius-based investors and it is suspected that illicit funds generated by Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea were siphoned off overseas and routed back through Mauritius-based foreign investors, the ED said.
Meanwhile, during the trial in the CBI court on Thursday, Indrani Mukerjea’s lawyer cross-examined accused-turned-approver Shyamvar Rai. His examination will continue on Friday.
The April 2012 murder of Sheena Bora, Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter from an earlier relationship, came to light in August 2015 after Rai, Mukerjeas’ former driver, spilled the beans after his arrest in another case. As per the CBI, the killing had to do with certain financial transactions.