ED registers money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram

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The Enforcement Directorate on Friday registered a money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, on the basis of a corruption case filed by the CBI earlier this week, officials said.

The CBI registered an FIR against Karti Chidambaram, Indrani and Peter Mukerjea over the charges of cheating, receiving illegal gratification, criminal conspiracy, criminal misconduct and influencing public officials. He had allegedly got approval from the board to a "fallacious" proposal by INX Media, the company that was then run by Peter Mukherjea and his wife Indrani Mukherjea.

The case filed by ED was under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Karti Chidambaram, who now faces a tight noose around his neck by the CBI, left for London along with three friends yesterday morning, sources said. Although a chunk of the raids were conducted in Chennai, Delhi and Gurgaon, the agency is hot on the trail of the city's shell companies due to Karti's alleged involvement in routing crores of rupees through them.

The CBI FIR alleged that INX's FDI inflow had been initially flagged by FIPB for irregularities and it had sought clarification from the media house.

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These vouchers were issued in favour of Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited, a firm "indirectly" owned by Karti, the CBI had alleged.

Karti Chidambaram has denied all the charges made against him.

But instead of Chess Management, an invoice of 10 lakh was raised in the name of Advantage Strategic private limited, a company that the ED alleges is controlled by Karti Chidambaram.

However, defending hi son, the senior Chidamabaram said that Karti will return soon and that his London visit was pre-scheduled.

Reacting to the raids, P Chidambaram, had said: "The government's aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organisations".

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