Documents indicating unaccounted transactions worth crores seized after raids against Telangana Congress candidate: ED

Documents indicating unaccounted transactions worth crores seized after raids against Telangana Congress candidate: ED

New Delhi/Hyderabad, Nov 22 (PTI) Incriminating documents indicating 'suspicious and unaccounted' transactions worth several crores of rupees were seized after searches were conducted against Congress candidate from Telangana's Chennur seat Vivek Venkatswamy, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged on Wednesday.

The raids were launched under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) on Tuesday at four locations, including the politician's residences in Hyderabad, office premises of his company Visaka Industries Ltd. in Hyderabad and that of Vigilance Security Services Pvt. Ltd. in Ramagundam, and his temporary place of residence at Hitech City in Mancherial district where he was present, the federal probe agency said in a statement.

With declared assets of more than Rs 600 crore, the 65-year-old former MP is the richest politician contesting the assembly polls in Telangana. The 119 assembly seats of the state will go to polls on November 30.

The former MP, early this month, had resigned from the BJP and joined the Congress in the presence of party leader Rahul Gandhi in Hyderabad. He had earlier been in the Congress from where he moved to the BRS of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and then to the BJP.

The ED raids were triggered on the basis of a reference received from the Telangana Police to investigate a transaction of Rs 8 crore from the bank account of Vivek, also known as Dr Gaddam Vivekanand, to the company -- Vigilance Security.

The bank account of Vigilance Security was being used to 'circuitously' transfer money with no real business rationale and Vivek, his wife and their company Visaka Industries had transactions of more than Rs 100 crore with Vigilance Security, the ED alleged.

Search operations resulted in the seizure of 'digital devices, incriminating documents indicating suspicious and unaccounted transactions worth several crores as well as use of unaccounted cash in property deals,' the ED said.  Seized documents also revealed large scale inter-corporate deposits within group companies having no legitimate business but holding huge land assets, it charged.

Searches also confirmed the 'bogus' nature of Vigilance Security Services Pvt. Ltd. which was found non-existent at its declared addresses, the agency said.

The entity (Vigilance Security) declared a mere Rs 20 lakh as 'revenue from operations' in its latest balance sheet whereas it reported assets worth Rs 64 crore mainly in the nature of long-term loans and advances, it said.

Since inception, the agency added, credit and debit transactions in the company's impugned bank account was found to be more than Rs 200 crore. Investigation found 'indirect' control of Vivek over Vigilance Security, the agency said.

It said prima facie, FEMA contraventions have been detected against Vigilance Security Services Pvt. Ltd. and its parent company Yeshwant Realtors, whose majority shares are held by a foreign national.

Such prima facie violations were also noticed in the incorporation of an entity by Vivek in a foreign tax-haven country, the ED alleged.

Vivek and his wife own movable assets valued at Rs 377 crore, mostly shares in various companies, including his own Visaka Industries, which was founded in 1981.

The family's immovable assets stood at over Rs 225 crore.  PTI NES SMN SMN

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