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Panama Papers: ED Seizes Assets Linked to Former IPL Chairman

ED has said that it has seized mutual funds valued at Rs 10.35 crore of a company “controlled” by Chirayu Amin. 

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has said that it has seized mutual funds valued at Rs 10.35 crore under the FEMA law of a company “controlled” by businessman and former IPL Chairman Chirayu Amin in the Panama Papers case.

The central probe agency said it seized mutual funds of Whitefield Chemtech Private Limited, “which is controlled by Amin and his family”, under Section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The names of Amin and his family members, it said in a statement, had figured in the Panama Papers case with respect to their stakes or interests in the firm in the British Virgin Islands.

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Why Were Amin’s Assets Seized?

During the investigation, the agency said, it was noticed that Amin and his family members, through their company Whitefield Chemtech Pvt Ltd India, had “invested an amount of 1.6 million US dollars for purchase of a 3BHK apartment in Campden Hill, UK.”

For purchase of this property in the UK, the firm transferred an amount of USD 2.4 million to its subsidiary in Singapore in the form of overseas direct investment. This amount was further transferred to its step-down subsidiaries in the UAE and British Virgin Island from where finally USD 1.6 million was used for purchase of this property.
Enforcement Directorate (ED)

Section 37A of the FEMA stipulates that if certain foreign exchange, foreign security or immovable property is held outside India in violation of this law, the equivalent value of asset can be seized within India.

“Accordingly, equivalent asset amounting to Rs 10.35 crore in the form of mutual funds were seized under Section 37A of FEMA, 1999,” it said.

Company Responds to ED

A spokesperson of the Whitefield Chemtech Private Limited has responded and said,

The tax paid amount has been officially remitted through regular banking channels and duly reported to regulatory authorities. We believe we are compliant with the regulations in this regard. The matter is not yet adjudicated. However, we are cooperating with the authorities to sort out the matter.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing Indians named in the Panama Papers, along with the Income Tax Department.

Panama Papers, which surfaced last year, contained brief particulars of about 426 people, prima facie, Indians or persons of Indian origin. The government had constituted a multi-agency group (MAG) of investigative agencies in April 2016 to probe these instances.

The MAG has so far submitted seven reports to the government.

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