ED to question Hiranandanis today over FEMA violations | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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ED to question Hiranandanis today over FEMA violations

Feb 26, 2024 12:58 AM IST

ED conducted searches on Thursday at four premises linked to the Hiranandani Group and its group entities in connection with its probe.

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Niranjan Hiranandani and his son Darshan Hiranandani, the promoters of prominent Mumbai-based real estate developer Hiranandani Group, for questioning in a foreign exchange violation case on February 26 with respect to two of its housing projects in Panvel and Chennai.

New Delhi, India- December 20, 2019: assocham upcoming president and founder & MD, Hiranandani Group Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, and other industries attending “100 Year of Assocham” Annual Conference on New India: Aspiring $5 Trillion Economy at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, India on Friday, December 20, 2019. ( Photo by Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times) (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
New Delhi, India- December 20, 2019: assocham upcoming president and founder & MD, Hiranandani Group Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, and other industries attending “100 Year of Assocham” Annual Conference on New India: Aspiring $5 Trillion Economy at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, India on Friday, December 20, 2019. ( Photo by Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times) (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

On Thursday, ED conducted searches at four premises linked to the Hiranandani Group and its group entities in connection with its probe. ED sources on Sunday said that the agency had mailed its summons via an email to Darshan Hiranandani as he is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While ED asked the Hiranandanis to appear before its Mumbai office, they may choose to submit to it their responses through authorised representative/s, the sources said.

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When contacted by HT, an official spokesperson of the Hiranandani Group said, “The ED search is over. We are not aware of anything further. We shall be submitting further documents (as required).”

ED sources said the duo will be asked for information/clarification related to the group entities’ alleged receipt of funds of over 400 crore via the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) route for the two housing projects under the scanner. The agency suspects that the utilisation of the amount in these projects was allegedly not as per prescribed government guidelines, ED sources said. ED sources said that Niranjan Hiranandani, his son, and their group entities are under the scanner for the alleged violations.

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According to ED, one of the group entities which had received the FDI allegedly did not repay loans taken from a consortium of banks and was declared a Non-Performing Asset. “Interestingly, the incomplete project was then taken over by another Hiranandani group entity in the subsequent Debt Recovery Tribunal’s proceedings. proceedings,” an ED 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 $60 million, the sources said. “The group was earlier also named in the Pandora Papers. 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,” an agency source said.

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ED’s searches on Thursday were conducted at three locations in Mumbai, including the corporate and registered offices of the group entities, and a site office in Panvel. Reacting to ED’s FEMA probe and the searches, the official spokesperson of the Hiranandani Group said on Thursday, “We have extended full cooperation to the department by facilitating all the relevant information and clarification sought by them. Since the inquiry pertains to a 15-year-old development, it took time to dig out old records.” The spokesperson added, “The group understands that ED is satisfied that there were no FEMA violations. The group will remain cooperative and law-abiding.”

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