The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has issued seizure orders against DMK MP Gautham Sigamani, of Rs 8.6 crore. Sigamani is the second DMK MP after S Jagathrakshakan to have his assets seized for FEMA violations.
In a statement, ED said the seizure order for Rs 8.6 crore is equivalent to the value of illegally acquired foreign security and non-repatriation of foreign exchange earned abroad contravening Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA).
Sigamani is the son of senior DMK leader and former state minister K Ponmudy and was elected to Lok Sabha from Kallakurichi seat.
ED's investigation revealed that in March 2008, Sigamani invested $100,000 (Rs 41,57,225 at the prevailing exchange rate then) for acquiring 245,000 shares of PT Excel Megindo, Jakarta and $55,000 (Rs 22,86,924) in Universal Business Ventures, UAE without the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Sigamani also failed to repatriate profits amounting to Rs 7,05,57,237 earned by him from Universal Business Ventures for the financial year 2008-09 to 2012-13 and continued to hold the same abroad till date violating FEMA, said ED.
“Further, he also failed to repatriate the balance amount lying in the bank account of Universal Business Ventures, UAE to the tune of 604,783 Dirhams equivalent of Rs 90,20,410 as on December 31, 2012 and continues to hold the same abroad till date in contravention of Section 4 read with Section 8 of FEMA, 1999,” ED said.
According to ED, as per Section 37A of FEMA, if any foreign exchange/security/immovable property is situated outside India is suspected to be held against Section 4 of FEMA, ED is empowered to seize assets of equivalent value located in India.
The ED has seized agricultural land, commercial and residential buildings in Tamil Nadu and movable properties in the form of bank balances and shares totaling Rs.8.6 crore held by Sigamani.
Further investigation in the case is in progress.
It may be noted, in September 2020, the ED had seized properties valued at Rs 89.19 crore held by DMK MP Jagathrakshakan and his family members. Jagathrakshakan represents Arakkonam constituency in Tamil Nadu in the Lok Sabha.