Ponmudi’s son Gautham Sigamani made investments abroad ‘without RBI permission’
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized assets worth ₹8.6 crore, held by Kallakurichi DMK MP Gautham Sigamani, equivalent to the value of “illegally” acquired foreign security and alleged non-repatriated foreign exchange earned abroad till date. Mr. Sigamani is the son of former Minister and DMK leader K. Ponmudi.
The ED said it took up the probe based on information that Mr. Sigamani had illegally acquired foreign security without the Reserve Bank of India’s approval, in violation of Section 4 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
The investigation “revealed that in March 2008, Gautham Sigamani, being a person resident in India, made overseas investment of $1,00,000 (₹41,57,225) in acquiring 2,45,000 shares of PT Excel Megindo, Jakarta, and $55,000 (₹22,86,924) in Universal Business Ventures, UAE”. The agency alleged that the investments were made without the RBI’s permission.
Profits kept abroad
It has also been alleged that Mr. Sigamani had failed to repatriate profits of over ₹7.05 crore earned by him from Universal Business Ventures from 2008-09 to 2012-13. He allegedly held them abroad till date in contravention of Section 4, read with Section 8, of the FEMA.
According to the ED, Mr. Sigamani did not repatriate the balance amount lying in the bank account of Universal Business Ventures to the tune of 6,04,783 dirhams, equivalent to over ₹90 lakh, as on December 31, 2012.
Therefore, under Section 37A of the FEMA, the ED has seized immovable properties in the form of agricultural lands, commercial and residential buildings in Tamil Nadu and movable properties in the form of bank balances and shares.