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ED investigating Philip Morris, Indian partner Godfrey Phillips: Report

Philip Morris has for years paid manufacturing costs to Godfrey Phillips to make its Marlboro cigarettes, circumventing a nine-year-old govt ban on foreign direct investment in the industry

Reuters  |  New Delhi 

Cigarettes, Smoking
A shopkeeper selling cigarettes. Photo: Reuters

The (ED) is investigating International Inc and its Indian partner for alleged violation of laws in India, a senior directorate source told Reuters on Thursday. The has been looking into both the and the scope of the is much broader than the alleged foreign investment law violations highlighted in a Reuters story published on Wednesday, the source said.

has for years paid manufacturing costs to to make its Marlboro cigarettes, circumventing a nine-year-old government ban on foreign direct investment in the industry, Reuters reported based on a review of dozens of internal company documents, which were dated between May 2009 and January 2018.

Three former officials and one former head of the had reviewed the documents for Reuters and said the dealings should be investigated for circumventing India's foreign investment rules.

On Friday, the Enforcement Directorate source declined to comment on whether the ongoing included Reuters reporting findings, but said "this is already under "

"Both are being looked into," said the source, who declined to be named citing sensitivity of the investigation.

The source declined to share further details of the probe.

First Published: Fri, March 08 2019. 15:24 IST
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