BUSINESS

Byju Raveendran’s watchlist was extended due to a FEMA investigation at the request of the ED

As part of its investigation under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) into the ed-tech company, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has extended its watch list against Byju Raveendran, the founder of Byju’s, according to persons acquainted with the situation.

When the federal agency began an investigation into the case more than a year ago, the LOC (lookout circular), which is given at the country’s entrance and departure borders, was initially issued against Raveendran.

The officials mentioned above said that Raveendran is now outside of India based on agency intelligence and that the LOC was extended earlier this month with the condition that ED be notified of his departure.

Byju has been contacted by HT to provide feedback on the development. As soon as an answer is received, the article will be updated.

According to the financial crimes investigation agency, Think and Learn Pvt Ltd, the company that owns Byju’s, is accused of breaking India’s foreign exchange rules and causing losses to the exchequer on money up to ₹9,362 crore.

The agency said in a statement in November 2023 that “Think and Learn Private Limited and Byju Raveendran have contravened the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act” by failing to allot shares against FDI received into the company, by failing to realize proceeds of exports made outside of India, by delaying filing of documents against the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) received into the company, and by failing to file documents against remittances made by the company outside of India.

According to its statement, “On the basis of the complaint filed by ED under sub-section (3) of section 16 of FEMA, 1999, with respect to the contraventions of the provisions of FEMA, 1999, to the tune of ₹9362.35 crore, the adjudicating authority under the fema, 1999 has issued show cause notices to Think and Learn Private Limited and Byju Raveendran.”

Numerous allegations about Byju’s foreign investment and business practices are the foundation of the ED’s investigation. The corporation was also accused of making substantial overseas investments and transfers outside of India that were purportedly outside the terms of the FEMA, 1999 and resulted in revenue losses for the Indian government, according to the agency.

Following the April 2023 raids on the firm, the ED stated in a statement that fema searches on Byju’s showed the company received around ₹28,000 crore in foreign direct investment between 2011 and 2023.

The corporation had claimed to have sent ₹9,754 crore in the name of overseas direct investment to many foreign countries during the same time.

Established in 2011, Byju’s had a significant surge in business during the Covid-19 epidemic.

Additionally, it owns Aakash Educational Services, which provides instruction on admission examinations for engineering and medicine.

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