What is the INX Media case? How Karti, Indrani and Peter Mukerjea are linked
Karti Chidambaram was arrested today by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the INX Media case.
The CBI had earlier filed an FIR against Karti, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, criminal misconduct and influencing public servants.
It has been alleged Karti had received money from the Peter-Indrani owned INX Media. It is also alleged that they wanted him to use his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it. The probe was about a violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board conditions to receive investments from Mauritius.
Tracking the money trail:
Peter Mukerjea put his wife in front before starting several companies under the INX banner. By 2014, he had floated several companies including INX News Pvt Ltd, INX Media Pvt Ltd, IPM Incon Pvt Ltd, and INX Executive Search Pvt Ltd.
It was sometime in 2012 that Indrani and Peter completely sold their stake in INX News Pvt Ltd. It may be recalled that Temasek, the investment arm of the Singapore government had also invested in INX Media Pvt Ltd. The documents with the probe agencies show that Indrani and Peter remained investors in INX till a few months before Sheena Bora's murder on April 24, 2012. Both Indrani and Peter are in jail for the murder of Sheena Bora.
Indrani was asked to head another company called IPM Incon Pvt Ltd in 2007. She was made the inlet. The probe agencies have found that Rs 10 crore was given as loan to the company. This was used to buy shares in INX Media Pvt Ltd.
By 2009, both Indrani and Peter jointly started INX Executive Search Pvt Ltd. The same year Peter had approved a loan of Rs 10 crore to his wife and co-director. Interestingly the company was floated with Indrani owning 99.9 per cent stake and the company had a share capital of Rs 10 crore.
Another company INX Services Pvt Ltd was floated by the duo with a paid-up capital of Rs 50 lakh. 99.9 per cent was owned by Indrani while the rest was by Peter. Rs 69 lakh was pumped into the company. There was no business activity in the books except for the transactions between Peter and Indrani.
The loans were interest-free with no terms of repayment. The probe agencies suspect that they were raising money elsewhere. They were handing out loans to each other through a company with no business, address with losses of a few thousand which are shown.