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ED seizes immovable properties worth over Rs 24 cr of Venkateshwara Hatcheries under FEMA provisions

New Delhi: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has seized six immovable properties located in Maharashtra and Karnataka worth over Rs 24 crore of prominent hatchery company-- Venkateshwara Hatcheries Pvt Ltd-- under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999.

ED initiated an investigation in connection with the illegal remittances made by the company from 2010 to date to its Wholly Owned Subsidiary named M/s Venky's London Limited, Cardiff, UK.

"ED investigation revealed that M/s Venkateshwara Hatcheries Pvt. Ltd (M/s VHPL) incorporated M/s Venky's London Limited, Cardiff, UK (VLL) as its Wholly Owned Subsidiary in the year 2010 at Cardiff, UK. M/s VHPL declared the business of M/s VLL to RBI as engaged in Recreation activity in the form of running a football club named Blackburn Rovers Football Club PLC (BRFC). After the incorporation of M/s VLL, M/s VHPL remitted huge funds in the guise of equity infusion. Apart from the initial investment, the company kept on infusing money in the form of equity contribution for day-to-day maintenance of the loss-making club without earning any profit out of the said investments," ED said in a statement.

"The investigation (by the ED) revealed that M/s VHPL made remittances to the tune of GBP 21,90,83,419 equivalent to INR 1963.60 Crore to M/s VLL since its incorporation till date. Out of said investments, M/s Venkateshwara Hatcheries Pvt. Ltd diverted investment to the tune of GBP 33,78,378 to acquire 53,00,000 shares of an entity named M/s Hitlab Inc. Canada. This Canadian entity is partially owned by an American Singer Akon. Reportedly Akon performed at the private birthday party of one of the promoters of M/s VHPL namely B Balaji Rao in Pune," it added.

The investigation established that M/s VHPL made an investment of GBP 33,78,378 equivalent to Rs 24,61,82,405 in an unrelated loss-making entity. It was made with a non-bonafide intention since it goes against their own declared purpose of investment, the statement read further.

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