MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate Tuesday questioned founder of INX Media Pvt Ltd founder Peter Mukherjea in connection with the money-laundering case in which Karti Chidambaram is allegedly embroiled.
The agency had sought permission to examine Peter on Monday, a day after former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti, who was arrested in the INX Media case, was confronted with Peter’s wife and co-founder of the INX Media, Indrani Mukherjea.
Both, Indrani and Peter are currently incarcerated in Mumbai in the Sheena Bora murder case. While Indrani is in the Byculla Jila, Peter is locked up in the Arthur Road jail. After the CBI Special Judge J C Jagdale allowed the ED’s plea, the agency interrogated Peter at the Arthur Road Jail on Tuesday, sources have said.
While Karti allegedly received Rs 3.5 crore from INX Media run by the Mukerjeas for helping it get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2007, the ED has alleged that the couple siphoned off £ 90 million from INX Media, which they deposited in unidentified countries through hawala channels.
The funds were then routed back to India and the United Kingdom through Mauritius-based foreign investors, the ED has claimed.
According to ED, INX Media filed an application on March 13, 2007, with the FIPB, the finance ministry and the central government seeking permission to receive funds from foreign investors.
The firm received the permission from the FIPB to receive foreign investments of around Rs 4.22 crore on May 31, 2007. The firm, however, received total foreign investments of around Rs 305.36 crore between August 22, 2007, and May 12, 2008. It received this excess foreign exchange of around Rs 300.44 crore from three Mauritius-based foreign investors.
The ED also stated that the Mumbai-based company, which is now called 9X Media and was controlled by Indrani and Peter, deliberately concealed the fact that it had received an investment including FDI, which is an act of criminal conspiracy.