Corruption charges

Peter and Indrani Mukerjea stashed Rs 773 crore abroad using hawala channels, claims ED

The agency is set to question Indrani, former owner of the media group and primary accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, on Friday and December 6.

Former media baron Peter Mukerjea and his estranged wife Indrani, who are accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, allegedly took £90 million (Rs 773 crore) from INX Media out of the country through hawala channels, the Enforcement Directorate has claimed.

The agency is set to question Indrani Mukerjea, the former owner of the media group, at Byculla jail on Friday and December 6 after it received permission from the special Central Bureau of Investigation court, The Asian Age reported.

In its plea, the investigating agency said that the couple routed the money through foreign investors based in Mauritius, the Hindustan Times reported. Peter Mukerjea’s son Rabin is reportedly holding the funds in New Zealand in the form of bonds.

The directorate has accused Indrani Mukerjea of conspiring with officials in the Finance Ministry in 2007 to secure clearance for accessing foreign funds, The Times of India reported. INX Media reportedly received Rs 3,004.4 million as foreign exchange beyond the disclosed amount permitted, it said.

The proposal was “favourably considered by finance ministry officials and approved by the then finance minister [P Chidambaram]”, the agency said. His son Karti Chidambaram moved the Supreme Court in October after the government issued a lookout circular against him in connection with the case.

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