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ED seizes Rs 8.60 crore assets of DMK MP Gautham Sigamani

Friday - October 16, 2020 9:21 pm , Category : INDIA
Chennai, Oct 16 (IANS) The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Friday said it has issued a seizure order against Gautham Sigamani, Member of Parliament belonging to the DMK, to the tune of Rs 8.60 crore.
In a statement the ED said the seizure order for Rs 8.60 crore is equivalent to the value of illegally acquired foreign security and non-repatriation of foreign exchange earned abroad, contravening the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA).
Sigamani is the son of senior DMK leader and former state minister K. Ponmudy and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kallakurichi.
According to the ED, its investigation revealed that in March 2008, Sigamani invested $100,000 (Rs 41,57,225) for acquiring 245,000 shares of PT Excel Megindo, Jakarta and $55,000 (Rs 22,86,924) in Universal Business Ventures, UAE, without the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Sigamani also failed to repatriate profits amounting to Rs 7,05,57,237 earned by him from Universal Business Ventures for the financial years 2008-09 to 2012-13 and continued to hold the same abroad till date violating FEMA.
"Further, he also failed to repatriate the balance amount lying in the bank account of M/s Universal Business Ventures, UAE to the tune of 604783 Dirhams equivalent of Rs 90,20,410 as on 31.12.2012 and continues to hold the same abroad till date in contravention of Section 4 read with Section 8 of FEMA, 1999," the ED said.
According to the ED, as per Section 37A of FEMA, if any foreign exchange/security/immovable property situated outside India is suspected to be held against Section 4 of FEMA, the ED is empowered to seize assets of equivalent value located in India.
The ED has seized agricultural land, commercial and residential buildings in Tamil Nadu and movable properties in the form of bank balances and shares totalling Rs 8.6 crore held by Sigamani.
Further investigation in the case is in progress.
Sigamani is the second DMK MP after S Jagathrakshakan to have his assets seized for FEMA violations.
In September 2020, the ED had seized properties valued at Rs 89.19 crore held by Jagathrakshakan and his family members.
Jagathrakshakan represents Arakkonam constituency in Tamil Nadu in the Lok Sabha.
During its probe, the ED found that Jagathrakshakan and his son Sundeep Aanand had subscribed to 70,00,000 shares and 20,00,000 shares respectively (valued at Singapore $1 per share) of Silver Park International Pte Ltd, Singapore, without prior approval of the RBI.
"Further, these unauthorised acquired shares were transferred by Jagathrakshakan to his family members in contravention of Section 4 of FEMA read with Regulation 3 of the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Foreign Security) Regulations, 2004," the ED had said.
As a result, the immovable properties in the form of agricultural land, plots, houses and others in Tamil Nadu and movable properties in the form of balance in bank accounts and shares totalling Rs 89.19 crore held by Jagathrakshakan and his family members were seized, said the ED.

--IANS vj/bg

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