Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized ₹16 crore of M/s Alphageo (India) Ltd, which was allegedly wired to United Arab Emirates (UAE) through hawala, for purchasing equipment from abroad for providing seismic survey services to oil exploration companies.

The ED launched a money laundering investigation against Hyderabad-based Alphageo India Ltd on the basis of an information received that the private company had transferred and parked certain funds in the UAE in contravention to the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999.

Probe revealed, said the agency Alphageo has been importing various equipment for seismic data collection from several suppliers based including in France, Singapore and Netherlands. It’s engaged in providing seismic survey services to various oil exploration and production companies in India and abroad.

Seismic data acquisition

Interestingly, the ED said while equipment for seismic data acquisition were directly received from various suppliers by Alphageo, the payments for the purchases made were routed through an entity, M/s Matrix Group DMCC, which is maintained and controlled by Rajiv Saxena, a chartered accountant based in Dubai. According to the agency, Saxena is the hawala operator for these imports.

Through over invoicing import bills for these imports, Alphageo managed to park funds into the account of M/s Matrix Group DMCC for the personal benefit of Dinesh Alla, Chairman and Managing Director of M/s Alphageo (India) Ltd in contravention of provisions of FEMA Act, 1999.

An amount of $25,34,628 was held outside India in contravention of Section 4 of FEMA. The equivalent value of the parked foreign fund which comes to ₹16 crore, has been seized in India under Section 37A of FEMA, the ED stated. The ED said the probe is not over in the case.