New Delhi, June 21 | The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized assets worth Rs 40.34 crore belonging to businessman Avinash Bhosle and his family members under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999, the agency said on Monday.
These properties have been seized as equivalent value of foreign securities or properties held by Bhosle and his family members in contravention of FEMA which provides for seizure of equivalent value, situated in India, of foreign security or immovable properties held outside India.
The attached assets are in the form of equity shares and preference shares held in Classic City Investment Pvt Limited, Pune, which owns three luxurious hotels in five-star category: Hotel Westin, Pune; Hotel Le Meridian, Nagpur; Hotel W Retreat and Spa, Goa.
Further, equity shares held in ABIL (Avinash Bhosle Infrastructure Private Limited) and bank balance of around Rs 1.15 crore lying in various bank accounts held in the name of Bhosle and his family members have been seized.
The ED initiated the FEMA investigation in September 2017 against Bhosle and his family on the basis of the information received that the businessman and his family members have acquired immovable property in Dubai in contravention of FEMA 1999.
Investigation revealed that Bhosle and his family acquired foreign securities of a company Rochdale Associates Limited, Dubai, which held immovable property worth AED 20,000,000 (equivalent to Rs 40,34,00,000).
To acquire the property, the ED said, Bhosle and his family members remitted the funds through the liberalised remittance scheme in their bank accounts held outside India.
“Funds were remitted in different categories such as to purchase equity shares in the Company Rochdale Associates Limited, Dubai, family maintenances, and savings received from NRI for family maintenance.
“However, remitted funds were utilised to purchase the seized immovable property and shares of the company were allotted against the remitted funds,” the ED said.
It was declared that the company is engaged in real estate business activity, however, investigation revealed that the company does not have any business activity and is generating no income whatsoever.
“Further investigation is in progress.”