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Adjudicating Authority holds J-K businessman Watali 'guilty' under FEMA


ANI General News
The Adjudication Authority has held a businessman from Jammu and Kashmir, Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali guilty of violating provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
"The Adjudication Authority under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), after conducting the adjudication proceeding has held Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali guilty for contraventions of provisions of FEMA and thereby imposed penalty to the extent of Rs 62 lakh in a case of operating Non-Resident Saving Accounts (both NRE and NRO accounts) in HSBC Bank at New Delhi in unauthorized manner," an official release of the ED said.
The authority, under FEMA, initiated action against Watali on the basis of information of certain "suspicious foreign exchange transactions".
"At the time of opening of these accounts, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali has submitted documents viz. the copy of the Passport issued at Washington D.C., resident visa etc claiming himself as a Non-Resident Indian, whereas during this period he neither remained outside India for more than 182 days in the preceding financial year nor was his intention to remain outside India for an uncertain period," read the release.
The agency said that the businessman received "inward remittances" to the tune of Rs 62.93 lakh from 2003 to 2009.
"In his NRE and NRO account on the strength of his fake NRI status despite being a resident in India, he continued holding of the accounts and allowed remittances in this account and thereby contravened the provisions of Section 4 and section 6(3) (f) of FEMA, 1999 read with Schedule 1 of Regulation 5(1) (i) of the Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulation, 2000. Accordingly, a Show Cause Notice was issued to Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali on the basis of complaints filed under section 16(3) of FEMA 1999," the release said.
The ED said that Watali's property worth Rs 8.94 was attached in another PMLA terror funding case and the accused is currently in Judicial Custody.
"Earlier, in another PMLA terror funding case property worth Rs. 8.94 crore of Zahoor Ahmed Watali, was attached for his involvement in fundraising and as a financial conduit for Hurriyat Leaders. Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali along with other nine accused are under Judicial Custody at Central Jail," read the release.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 6:29 PM IST

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