FEMA violation: ED seizes fixed deposits worth Rs 16 crore of Hyderabad-based firm

NewsDrum Desk
23 Nov 2022

New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) Fixed deposits worth Rs 16 crore belonging to a Hyderabad-based company that provides seismic survey services to oil exploration companies in India and abroad have been seized for an alleged violation of the foreign exchange law, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday.

The action was taken against Alphageo (India) Limited, the federal probe agency said in a statement.

The company was raided by the Income Tax department in July 2019 and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had later said in a statement that the tax sleuths had found four "undisclosed" foreign bank accounts, three "un-reported" companies based in tax havens, unexplained cash of Rs 45 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 3.1 crore.

The ED said "Alphageo had transferred and parked certain funds in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in contravention of the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)".

The Hyderabad-based company provides seismic survey services to oil exploration and production companies in India and abroad, and according to the ED, it has been importing various equipment for seismic data acquisition from several suppliers based in France, Singapore and the Netherlands.

The equipment for seismic data acquisition were directly received from various suppliers by Alphageo, it said.

"However, the payment for the same has been routed through an entity, Matrix Group DMCC, maintained and controlled by Rajiv Saxena, a chartered accountant based in Dubai and a hawala operator.

"By way of over-invoicing bills for these imports, Alphageo parked funds into the account of Matrix Group DMCC for the personal benefit of Dinesh Alla, chairman and managing director of Alphageo (India) Limited, in contravention of provisions of the FEMA Act, 1999," the agency said.

Saxena is an accused and alleged middleman involved in the VVIP choppers money-laundering and corruption case and India got him deported from Dubai on January 31, 2019. He is currently in judicial custody.

The ED probe found that an amount of USD 25,34,628 (more than Rs 20.75 crore) was held outside India in contravention of FEMA provisions and, therefore, the "equivalent value" of the foreign funds (in the form of FDs) parked in the UAE by Alphageo, amounting to Rs 16 crore, was seized in India under section 37A of the Act. PTI NES RC

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