Karti Chidambaram’s assets worth Rs 54 crore seized in India, abroad
The Enforcement Directorate said on Thursday it has attached assets worth Rs 54 crore of Karti Chidambaram in India, the UK and Spain in connection with the INX Media money laundering case, the action the son of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram said was “bizarre and outlandish”.
The central probe agency issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) for the attachment of Karti’s Indian assets in Kodaikanal and Ooty in Tamil Nadu and a flat in New Delhi’s Jorbagh.
A cottage and house in Somerset in the United Kingdom and a tennis club located in Barcelona, Spain have also been attached as part of the same order, the agency said.
Fixed deposits worth Rs 90 lakh in a bank in Chennai, in the name of Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited (ASCPL), have also been attached, it said. The assets are in the name of Karti and ASCPL, the firm allegedly linked to him, it added.
In a tweet minutes after news of the ED’s seizure broke, Karti insisted the provisional attachment order “is not based on law or facts but on crazy conjectures”.
“This is meant only to grab “headlines”. The “order” will not withstand judicial scrutiny, review or appeal. Will approach the appropriate legal forum,” he said.
Karti has been accused of receiving kickbacks a decade back to clear foreign investment into INX Media group, using the influence of his father who was then a cabinet minister.
The agency had registered a case under PMLA in this deal case on the basis of a first information report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
It alleged that irregularities took place in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was the Union finance minister.
ED had questioned Karti in connection with this case in the past.
Apart from the CBI, which is probing the bribery case, the former minister’s son also faces allegations that he laundered the bribe money.