Billionaire Niranjan Hiranandani quizzed for nearly 11 hrs by ED in FEMA case | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Billionaire Niranjan Hiranandani quizzed for nearly 11 hrs by ED in FEMA violations case

ByVinay Dalvi
Mar 05, 2024 05:06 AM IST

The agency had summoned both Niranjan and his son, Darshan, who has lived in Dubai for the last few years.

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday questioned billionaire businessman Niranjan Hiranandani, the promoter of prominent Mumbai-based realty company Hiranandani Group, for nearly 11 hours in a foreign exchange violation case. “We have recorded the statement of Niranjan Hiranandani,” said an ED official.

Mumbai, India – Mar 04, 2024: Billionaire Niranjan Hiranandani leaves after being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today in a foreign exchange violation case, in Mumbai, India, on Monday, Mar 04, 2024. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Mumbai, India – Mar 04, 2024: Billionaire Niranjan Hiranandani leaves after being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today in a foreign exchange violation case, in Mumbai, India, on Monday, Mar 04, 2024. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

Hiranandani reached ED’s office in Ballard Pier in south Mumbai around 11.30am and left around 10.15pm. While leaving the agency’s office, Niranjan said, “We are co-operating with the agency and happily answered all their questions. It’s an old matter -- 16 years old. The agency had certain queries which had been raised previously also and we answered those questions.”

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Also Read: Niranjan Hiranandani, Dubai-based son Darshan summoned by ED. What's the case?

The agency had summoned Niranjan and his son, Darshan, who has lived in Dubai for the last few years. Accordingly, Hiranandani reached ED’s office in Ballard Pier in the afternoon and was questioned by the agency officials for hours.

The agency alleged the group entities had allegedly received funds over 400 crore via the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) route for the housing projects but the alleged utilisation of the amount in these projects was not as per the prescribed government guidelines, ED sources said.

Under the scanner of the FEMA probe are Niranjan Hiranandani, his son Darshan Hiranandani who is said to be Dubai-based and their group entities, ED sources said.

ED’s searches were conducted last month at three locations in Mumbai, including the Group entities’ corporate and registered offices in Mumbai and the residential premises located in south Mumbai of its co-founder Niranjan Hiranandani, and a group housing project’s site office in Panvel, ED sources said.

Also Read: ED conducts searches at Hiranandani group entities over FEMA violations

The Hiranandanis are under the agency’s scanner for alleged routing of investments of more than 400 crore in the form of Foreign Direct Investments(FDI) received in group companies having real estate projects in Panvel and Chennai, agency sources said. ED sources said that the probe revealed that the Group had allegedly received the FDI funds for its two planned housing projects in Panvel and Chennai but there were subsequent violations related to the end-use of such funds.

As per the gathered information, the alleged utilisation of the amount in these projects was not as per the prescribed government guidelines, the ED sources said. “One of the group entities which had received the FDI did not repay loans taken from a consortium of banks and was declared a Non-Performing Asset”, an agency source said. “Interestingly, the incomplete project was then taken over by another Hiranandani group entity in the subsequent Debt Resolution Tribunal proceedings,” the source said.

As per the information available with the agency, Niranjan Hiranandani and his family members were allegedly the beneficiaries of an offshore trust, which had accumulated assets of more than USD 60 million, ED sources said. “The group was earlier also named in the Pandora Papers,” the source said. ED’s probe also learnt that the Hiranandanis had allegedly set up at least 25 companies and a Trust in the British Virgin Islands between 2006 and 2008.

The official spokesperson of Hiranandani Group stated, “The company representative will remain fully cooperative in submitting required documents as was done previously multiple times and will appear when needed.”

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