K M Dayashankar
ED searches house of Minister for Civil Supplies Gangula Kamalakar
KARIMNAGAR: The Enforcement Directorate search teams have seized Rs 1.08 crore unaccounted cash allegedly received in Hawala against exports and also seized voluminous granite dispatch data of 10 years from the granite quarries in Karimnagar district.
The ED and Income Tax officials have conducted searches at the offices and residential premises of M/s. Swetha Granites, Swetha Agencies, Sri Venkateshwara Granites Private Limited, M/s. PSR Granites Private Limited, M/s. Arvind Granites, M/s Giriraj Shipping Agencies Private Limited and their related entities in Karimnagar and Hyderabad on November 9 and 10, 2022, to investigate and unearth evidence pertaining to FEMA Violations.
The ED officials have also searched the house of the Minister for Civil Supplies and BC Welfare Gangula Kamalakar in Karimnagar town. Following the searches, the Minister, who was holidaying in Dubai, rushed back to Karimnagar town and claimed that he had returned to support the investigation agencies.
During the search action, the ED search teams also found multiple benami bank accounts held in the name of employees of granite exporters, in which cash received against the illegal granite exports was being deposited. Search action also led to the detection of money being routed back from Chinese entities into Indian entities in the form of hand loans without documents. These Chinese entities are owned by Li Wenhuo, whose name appeared in the Panama leaks.
The above entities are exporting rough granite blocks to China, Hong Kong S.A.R, China and other countries. During the course of enquiries, it was found that exported quantity was more than the quantity on which royalty was paid and there was underreporting of quantity while exporting. In many instances, the export proceeds are not realized in the declared bank accounts, thereby, indicating that the export proceeds are received through other than banking channels.
ED Investigation on illegal granite mining and FEMA violations has been initiated on the basis of the report of the Vigilance & Enforcement Dept of State Government where in large scale evasion of Seigniorage fee on granite blocks transported from the quarry lease areas of Karimnagar District to the Sea Ports by Railways was detected and demands for the evaded royalty were raised but not paid by the exporters. Further investigation is under progress.