INX Case:CBI seeks transaction details from 5 countries

Sources said the judicial requests have been sent to the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Switzerland, Bermuda and Singapore. Investigators said this information is required to trace investments made using the money allegedly taken for granting government clearance for foreign direct investment.

AmidĀ speeding up the pace to file a charge-sheet against P Chidambaram and others, the CBI has sent Letter Rogatory, or judicial requests, to five countries seeking details of money trail in the INX media case in which the former finance minister P Chidambaram is arrested.

Sources said the judicial requests have been sent to the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Switzerland, Bermuda and Singapore. Investigators said this information is required to trace investments made using the money allegedly taken for granting government clearance for foreign direct investment.

Investigators are also planning to file the charge-sheet in the case soon, with some even saying it could happen in the first half of September. However, this may be delayed a bit as the information which it has sought from the five countries may take a little more time.

Sources said they have enough material to submit a charge-sheet in the case and if needed, they could file a supplementary charge-sheet later.

After getting Chidambaram's remand till August 26, CBI investigators interrogated him but the agency officials claimed he continued to be evasive in his reply. Chidambaram's lawyers had on Thursday contended that replies which are not to the liking of investigators should not be treated as being non-cooperative.

Investigators are reported to be going through the FDI clearances given during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister in the UPA government and have identified four suspicious cases.

This includes payments received by a company "indirectly" linked to Chidambaram's son Karti for services, including arranging government clearance for FDI in a Bengaluru-based firm Katra Holdings Ltd. Katra Holdings had received approval of FIPB for FDI in its subsidiary M/s Mason and Summers Alcobev.

If one goes by an ED report, which was reported in DH in March 2018, the Advance Strategic Consultancy Pvt Ltd (ASCPL) raised an invoice (No: ASCPL/0506/003) dated 20 August 2005 for Rs 10 lakh plus service taxes on Katra Holdings. The ASCPL received a payment of Rs 9,39,050 (after Tax Deducted at Source or TDS). ASCPL is claimed by investigators as a firm "indirectly" controlled by Karti.

The investigators claimed that Chidambaram amassed 11 properties outside the country and has 17 bank accounts, including banks abroad, a charge repeated in Supreme Court on Friday. The money was transferred through a web of shell companies, they claimed.

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