The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has conducted searches under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) at eight different locations in the national Capital and neighbouring Ghaziabad on the premises of a number of tour and travel operators and associated chartered accountants and seized unaccounted cash amounting to Rs 3.57 crore.
The searches at the residences and offices of Directors of the tour and travel companies besides the Chartered Accountants were conducted on Thursday that continued till next day. The searches yielded several incriminating documents and digital records besides the unaccounted cash, the agency said here on Saturday.
Investigations under FEMA, 1999 were initiated against various entities including tour and travel companies on the basis of specific inputs that these entities were involved in unauthorized receipt of foreign remittances through payment gateways in the name of providing e-visa services to the foreigners, the ED said.
conducted in the matter so far have revealed that two such entities received foreign remittance of more than Rs 200 crores for
processing Indian e-visa applications of foreigners without any authorisation from the Government of India,” agency said in a statement.
These entities were also involved in high value suspicious transactions. Investigations also revealed that certain Chartered Accountants played a key role in managing the affairs of these entities and were behind the suspicious transactions carried out by them.
The seizure of unaccounted cash of Rs 3.57 Crores during the search operations has raised further suspicion about the operations of such entities and their blatant violation of the statutory requirements, it said.
Further investigation in the case is under progress to unravel the larger nexus of the syndicate and the intended purpose behind the suspicious transactions, officials added.