The Enforcement Directorate on Friday conducted raids in Chennai in connection with the INX Media money laundering case. Three properties of people allegedly linked to Karti Chidambaram were raided, reported news agency PTI. The raids come a day after Karti, the son of former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, was interrogated by the agency for over 10 hours.
The ED had registered a case of money laundering against Karti under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in May last year. It has earlier raided properties of his as well. Apart from Karti, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea are also accused in the case. The ED alleges Karti received money from INX Media, a firm owned by the Mukerjeas, in return for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) conditions to receive investment from Mauritius.
The ED’s probe is based on an FIR filed by the CBI, which has also raided multiple properties of the Chidambarams. Both Karti and P Chidambaram have denied allegations levelled against them.
Earlier this year, Chidambaram held a press conference during which he called the raids a “comedy of errors.” He had said, “There is no FIR concerning a scheduled crime by CBI or any agency. I anticipated they’ll search premises in Chennai again but in a comedy of errors they came to Jor Bagh (Delhi) and officers told me that they thought Karti is an occupant of this house but he is not.”
“(ED officials) searched and found nothing but since they had to justify themselves they took papers of a statement made by the government in Parliament, few years back. The ED has no jurisdiction to investigate under PMLA,” Chidambaram added.
(With inputs from agencies)