The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed to have seized unaccounted cash of ₹1.08 crore allegedly received in hawala transactions against export of granite blocks during the searches conducted by its teams at the offices and residential premises of some granite companies and their associated firms in Karimnagar and Hyderabad on November 9 and 10.
In a statement issued on Friday, the ED said searches were conducted on the premises of Swetha Granites, Swetha Agencies, Sri Venkateshwara Granites Private Ltd., PSR Granites Private Ltd., Arvind Granites, Giriraj Shipping Agencies Private Ltd., and their related entities on Wednesday and Thursday.
The ED investigation on illegal granite mining and violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) had been initiated based on the report of the Vigilance and Enforcement Department of the State government.
Large-scale evasion of Seigniorage fee on granite blocks transported from the quarry lease areas of Karimnagar district to the seaports by railways was detected, the ED said, adding that demands for the evaded royalty were raised but not paid by the exporters.
These entities were exporting rough granite blocks to China, Hong Kong and other countries.
During enquiries, it was found that the exported quantity was more than the quantity on which royalty was paid and there was underreporting of quantity while exporting, the probing agency said.
The search action also led to detection of money being routed back from Chinese entities into the Indian entities in the form of hand loans without documents. These Chinese entities are owned by Li Wenhuo, whose name appeared in Panama leaks.