67 Indian bank accounts under scanner over embezzlement fraud in Brazil frozen by ED
The Enforcement Directorate said that the action has been taken on request of Brazil and India is under obligation to act as there is a reciprocal agreement between the two countries.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the Delhi high court on Thursday that it froze 67 bank accounts of various Indian businessmen and companies in India on the request of Brazil, where a provincial governor is under investigation for embezzling funds.
The ED has informed the court that it acted on mutual legal agreement between both countries but it hasn’t filed any case in the matter.
The agency was responding to a plea filed by advocate Vijay Aggarwal on behalf of company Hamilton Housewares, whose account was frozen by the ED last month along with other individuals/companies.
Hamilton Housewares Pvt Ltd deals in plastics, thermo steel, thermoware, ceramic ware and glassware under the brand name “Milton”. The company’s accounts was ordered to be frozen by the ED on July 13. The order further said that no withdrawals will be allowed without the permission of the agency.
Aggarwal argued before the high court that the business of the company has been affected due to ED’s action and it is not able to perform its day-to-day business, both as regards to payments to be made and the orders to be performed.
He further argued that the action has been taken when it is not even known whether a scheduled offence has been registered or not and that ED has not supplied to the company “reasons to believe” to freeze the bank account.
The ED said that the action has been taken on request of Brazil and India is under obligation to act as there is a reciprocal agreement between the two countries. Brazilian authorities had requested India to freeze these 67 accounts in which funds linked to a provincial governor have been transferred.
The agency claimed that Brazil provincial governor (whose name has been withheld by the ED) was involved in embezzlement of funds to over 50 countries, including India.
Apart from Hamilton Housewares, accounts of eight more companies, namely JK Tyre, KP Sanghvi & Sons, Nancy Crafts Pvt Ltd, Bharat Fashion and Apparels, Eastman Industries Ltd, Orbit Exports Ltd, Shrenuj & Co and RSWM Ltd were frozen by the ED last month in Brazil probe.