Panama Papers : ED attaches four properties worth Rs 41.64 cr of Zavareh Soli Poonawalla 

ED Enforcement Direcorate
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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday, May 8 seized three immovable properties located at Ceejay house, Worli, Mumbai worth Rs 41.64 Crore under the provisions of FEMA in its investigation against Zavareh Soli Poonawalla and his family members. 

The ED is investigating a case of misuse of Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) under the provisions of the FEMA against Zavareh Soli Poonawalla and his family. His name was found in the Panama Papers revelations regarding off-shore entities

The ED investigation has established that Poonawalla and his family members had remitted foreign exchange abroad by mis-utilizing the provisions of LRS scheme. They used the maximum permissible limit and from the year 2011-12, they remitted money abroad via mis-declarations under the pretext of ‘family maintenance and self-maintenance’, however none of their family members was residing abroad or holding NRI status.

The entire funds remitted by Poonawalla and his family members under LRS were invested into Stallast Limited based in BVI. 

The funds remitted by Poonawalla and his family members were utilized by Stallast Limited to purchase four properties at UK. These properties include four apartments at Paddington, London. Multiple FEMA contraventions were seen in these transactions. 

Apart from mis-declarations in the remittances, Poonawalla and his family members wrongly claimed these investments as foreign portfolio investments, but in reality, the foreign entity was completely controlled by them and thus, they did ODI in a foreign WoS without due permission of the RBI. The foreign assets were not declared to RBI. They continued to hold above foreign assets till date and are in continuous enjoyment of the same. 

The properties abroad were acquired through the funds remitted under LRS to avoid reporting requirements to RBI and thus, Zavareh Poonawalla has mis-utilized the Liberalized Remittance Scheme. Therefore, the equivalent value of properties held by them in India have been seized under the provisions of Section 37A of FEMA.

The ED has seized Office space at Ceejay House, Worli, Mumbai, by passing an order under FEMA, Further investigation in the matter is on.