Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized ₹8.26 crore in a case to probe alleged Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations against Pigeon Education Technology India Private Limited that offers online education through “Odaclass”.

According to a statement ED issued on Friday, the seizure of ₹8.26 crore done under Section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999, comes after the agency carried out searches against the company which is 100 % owned by Chinese nationals. All the affairs of the company including financial decisions are being taken by the persons residing in China, the ED said.

“During investigation, it was ascertained that the company has siphoned off ₹82.72 crore to China and Hongkong in the name of advertisement and marketing expenses on the instructions of Chinese director Liu Can,” alleged the agency. The company could not produce any proof of receipt of service on its part and proof of any advertisement published against the said expenses. But, as per the ED, the director and accounts manager of the company has also admitted during investigation that the payments were made only on the instructions of the Chinese director.

“The Indian director of the company, Vedanta Hamirwasia stated that the Chinese director told them that the said advertisements were published through Google and Facebook, however, no confirmation or invoice raised by these platforms has been submitted,” the agency pointed out.

Further investigation is on to unearth more details of the FEMA violations.

Seva Vikas Coop Bank fraud case

In another case, the ED has provisionally attached 47 immovable properties worth ₹121.81 crore and movable assets worth ₹54.25 lacs belonging to ex-chairman of Seva Vikas Coop Bank Amar Mulchandani, and loan defaulters like Vivek Aranha of Rosary Education Group, Sagar Suryawanshi, Khemchand Bhojwani and their family members as well as entities in Seva Vikas Coop Bank fraud case.

ED said in an official statement that it initiated money laundering investigation based on the predicate FIR registered at Vimantal Police Station, Pune, against Vinay Aranha of Rosary Education Group and others for loan fraud. Subsequently, an audit of the entire Seva Vikas Coop Bank revealed alleged gross fraud and misappropriation of ₹429.6 crore across 124 non performing asset (NPA) Loan accounts.

ED investigation has established that Amar Mulchandani treated public deposits in the Bank like his personal fiefdom and violated all prudent banking norms to illegally sanction loans to his favoured borrowers, alleged the agency. Mulchandani, charged the ED, would take bribes at the rate of 20 per cent commission of the sanctioned loan amounts. “Major loan defaulters Vinay Aranha, Sagar Suryawanshi and Khemchand Bhojwani, etc were found to be hand in glove with Amar Mulchandani,” alleged ED.