Panama leak case: ED seizes assets worth Rs 7 crore from Delhi jeweller
New Delhi, June 15: The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday seized foreign assets worth Rs 7 crore of a Delhi-based jeweller in connection with its probe into foreign exchange violation in the Panama Papers leak case.The business entity was identified by the ED as Mehrasons Jewellers.
The agency said that it was the first instance of seizure of foreign assets after the Foreign Exchange Management Act was amended recently and the ED was empowered to take action in cases where illegal assets were stashed abroad.
According to Panama Leaks, the family had a couple of offshore entitites in Bahamas and British VirginIslands (BVI) and the registered agents were changed more than once for offshore entities. AK Mehra had in April 2016 was quoted as saying that he had incorporated these companies under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme and transactions were "duly declared to tax authorities and shown in the Income Tax returns of all members".
The ED statement said that it came to light that "huge amounts were sent out of India by mis-utilising the scheme of Liberalized Remittance Scheme of RBI in the garb of making investments abroad" by the Mehras.
The amendment was made by the government in Section 37A of the FEMA.
The Panama Papers, that was brought to the fore by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists a few years ago, had about 500 Indian names in it. They were alleged to have stashed assets abroad illegally.