ED to begin action against Ramdev’s 34 companies
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In further trouble for yoga guru and anti-corruption campaigner Baba Ramdev, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has decided to proceed against his close aide Acharya Balkrishna and 34 companies he heads under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Last month, the ED had issued showcause notices to Ramdev, Balkrishna, his trusts Patanjali Ayurved Ltd and Divya Yog Mandir and his Jharkhand Mega Foods for alleged foreign exchange violations.
According to ED documents accessed by The Indian Express, there is fresh evidence to show remittance of forex worth Rs 27.5 crore by the two trusts run by the yoga guru in violation of RBI norms.
Patanjali Ayurved has reportedly made investments abroad worth Rs 4.35 crore while Vedic Broadcasting Ltd has remittance of Rs 4.4 crore towards "professional fee". Approximately Rs 2.5 crore has allegedly been invested by Patanjali in two companies — Herboved Inc in USA and Patanjali Malagasy Sarl in Madagascar. The ED suspects these to be companies owned by Ramdev's trusts.
Despite repeated efforts, Ramdev's spokesperson was not available for comments.
"Once the CBI files the case of forgery (by Acharya Balkrishna) in the passport case, we will register a case under the money laundering Act," said a senior ED official.
All the 34 companies associated with the yoga guru and his three trusts are headed by Balkrishna.
The ED suspects that Patanjali Ayurved Ltd and Vedic Broadcasting Ltd exported goods at high over-invoiced rates to various foreign companies and its own joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries.
ED investigations also point out that the FDI received by the Jharkhand Mega Food Park from Dubai-based GenX Venture Capital and Lunar General Trading and Liberia-based Micky Shipping Ltd is in violation of the RBI guidelines.
The ED says the RBI was not told about the investments and suspects it could be a pretext of bringing unaccounted money from abroad.
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