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Karti Chidambaram, who was arrested in the INX Media case today morning, was destroying evidence while in the United Kingdom (UK), sources from within the Central Bureau of Investigation claim.
Karti, a Congress leader and the son of former Finance Minister P Chidamabaram, was arrested because this belief – that he has destroyed evidence in UK – within the CBI, the sources added.
A special team of officers from the CBI’s Chennai unit was waiting for him at the city’s airport where Karti Chidamabaram landed today.
The CBI questioned him on his UK visit, but Karti did not respond to the agency’s questions, the sources added.
Karti Chidambaram will also be produced in a court in Delhi.
With Karti Chidamabaram‘s arrest, the CBI finds itself at the centre of a raging political controversy. The Congress has said that the arrest is proof of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party‘s ‘vendetta’ politics.
“This is the classic diversionary tactic of the Modi government to hide their own corrupt governance model that is being exposed on a daily basis – be it Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi or Dwarka Das Seth Jewellers,” Congress’s Priyanka Chaturvedi said.
CBI sources, however, defended the agency, saying that they have enough documentary evidence against Karti Chidambaram.
Commenting on the arrest, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “If corrupt are being jailed and law is taking its own course, I see no reason why any political party should cry vendetta. This is law, not vendetta.”
INX Media Case
INX Media, which was once owned by Peter Mukherjea and Indrani Mukerjea, the prime suspects in the money laundering case had shown a transaction of Rs 10 lakh named against Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd, a firm which is indirectly owned by Karti Chidambaram, as management consultancy charges towards a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) notification and clarification.
CBI has allegedly said that Karti Chidambaram took money from INX Media and used his influence and power to manipulate a tax probe against the company regarding a case of violation of FIPB conditions to get an investment from Mauritius.
In 2010, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a case under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for diverting foreign direct investment by three Mauritius based companies in INX Media to its step down subsidiaries without prior approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
New Vernon Private Equity Limited, New Silk Route (NSR) PE Mauritius, and Dunearn Investment (Mauritius) were the three companies in INX Media involved.
After an investigation by Central Board of Direct Taxes which came up with the tax history of the INX group, it suggested that Mukerjeas were involved in laundering Rs 305 crore through Mauritius into 8 different INX subsidiary companies.
A case was filed against Karti seeking probe by CBI and Enforcement Directorate.