Joint teams of ED, I-T officials search Minister’s residence, premises of several granite barons


Probe into alleged violation of the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999

Probe into alleged violation of the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999

Joint teams of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax officials on Wednesday carried out simultaneous searches at multiple locations including the residence of Civil Supplies and Backward Classes Welfare Minister Gangula Kamalakar and offices of several granite companies in Karimnagar, reportedly in connection with a probe into alleged violation of the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999.

According to sources, sleuths of the ED and I-T department, divided into separate teams, conducted raids at the residential and office premises of some of the granite barons in and around Karimnagar, considered as the granite hub of Telangana.

The sleuths scoured through various documents and records relating to the export of granite blocks and other business transactions of the Swetha Granite Company reportedly belonging to the minister’s brother at the firm’s office in the town.

Mr Kamalakar was away on a vacation abroad with his family, when the joint team raided his locked house, sources said.

However, the sleuths of the agencies concerned remained tight-lipped about the raids, which lasted from dawn to dusk.

Central paramilitary personnel stood guard outside the premises of the minister’s residence during the raid.

The simultaneous raids come in the backdrop of a slew of complaints received by the probe agencies against some granite companies including the firms engaged in export of rough granite blocks from quarries in Karimnagar district to China and a few other countries over alleged violation of FEMA norms, sources added.

In a complaint to the ED in July last year, B Mahender Reddy, a town-based advocate, alleged that eight granite agencies of Karimnagar district evaded crores of rupees of royalty by under-measuring the granite blocks exported to various foreign countries via Kakinada and Krishnapatnam sea ports in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, resulting in a huge loss of ₹ 124.94 crore to the public exchequer.

He sought a detailed probe into what he termed as a “major fraud” and action against the “errant granite agencies.”

The ED subsequently initiated an investigation against as many as nine exporters of granite blocks for alleged violation of FEMA regulations.


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