In a growing trouble for the son of former Union minister and Congress heavyweight P Chidambaram, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram. The move by ED has come hot on the heels of a recent CBI FIR against them.
Officials said the central probe agency registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), ED’s equivalent of a police FIR, against the accused named in the CBI complaint including Karti, INX media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, and others.
The ECIR has been registered under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said. It is the ED which had provided information about the alleged illegal payments made by INX media, based on which the CBI had filed its FIR.
They said the ED will probe the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated in this case and may also attach assets of the various accused.
The CBI, on Tuesday, had carried out searches at the homes and offices of Karti across four cities for allegedly receiving money from the media firm owned by the Mukerjeas to scuttle a tax probe.
The Chidambarams had denied all the charges made against them.
The CBI had filed an FIR against Karti and the Mukerjeas on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct.
It is alleged that Karti received money from INX Media 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 CBI had also recovered vouchers of Rs 10 lakh which were allegedly paid for the services. These vouchers were issued in favour of Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited, a firm “indirectly” owned by Karti, the CBI had alleged.
P Chidambaram, after the CBI searches on May 16, had issued a strong statement in response to the raids saying that the government was using the CBI and other agencies to target his son.
(With inputs from the PTI)