The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized assets worth Rs 40.34 crore belonging to real estate businessman Avinash Bhosle and his family members in connection with a case against him under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
The attached assets are in the form of equity and preference shares in Pune-based Classic City Investment Private Limited, which owns three five-star hotels -- Hotel Westin, Pune; Hotel Le, Meridian, Nagpur and Hotel W Retreat & Spa, Goa.
The assets have been seized as equivalent value of foreign securities held by Mr Bhosale and his family members in alleged contravention of FEMA, an ED statement said.
The investigation agency has also seized equity shares held in Avinash Bhosale Infrastructure Private Limited (ABIL) and a sum of around Rs. 1.15 crore in bank accounts held in the name of Mr Bhosle and members of his family.
The ED statement said they started the investigation against Mr Bhosale and his family members in September 2017 after receiving information that they had acquired an immovable property in Dubai in contravention of FEMA.
According to the agency, their investigation revealed that Mr Bhosle and his family members acquired foreign securities of a company Rochdale Associates Limited, Dubai, which held immovable property worth AED 20,000,000 -- equivalent to Rs 40,34,00,000.
To acquire the foreign securities, the businessman and his family members remitted the funds through the Liberalised Remittance Scheme in their bank accounts held outside India, the agency said.
"Funds were remitted in different categories i.e. to purchase equity shares in the Company Rochdale Associates Limited, Dubai, family maintenances, savings received from NRI for family maintenance etc. However, remitted funds were utilised to purchase the said immovable property and shares of the company were allotted against the remitted funds," the ED statement said.
"It was declared that company is engaged in Real Estate Business activity, however, investigation revealed that company does not have any business activity and generating no income whatsoever," it added.
The ED has said that further investigation is in progress.