Assets worth over Rs 40 crore, including equity and preference shares in three luxury hotels, of Pune-based builder Avinash Bhosale and his family members have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a probe linked to alleged violation of the forex law, the agency said on Monday.
"These properties have been seized as equivalent value of foreign securities or properties held by Bhosale and his family members in contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 which provides for seizure of equivalent value, situated in India, of foreign security or immovable properties held outside India," the agency said in a statement.
The attached assets are in the form of equity shares and preference shares held in Classic City Investment Pvt Limited, Pune, which owns three luxury hotels in five-star category--Hotel Westin, Pune, Hotel Le Meridien in Nagpur and Hotel W Retreat & Spa located in Goa, it said.
Equity shares held in ABIL (Avinash Bhosle Infrastructure Private Limited) and bank balance of around Rs 1.15 crore lying in bank accounts held in the name of Bhosale and his family members have also been seized, the ED said.
The agency said the action has been taken against Bhosale as part of a FEMA investigation against him and his family members that first began in September, 2017.
An information was then received that Bhosale and his family members have acquired some assets in Dubai in contravention of the FEMA, it said.
"Bhosale and his family members acquired foreign securities of a company Rochdale Associates Limited, Dubai, which held immovable property worth AED 20,000,000 (about Rs 40.34 crore)."
"To acquire the property, Bhosale and his family members remitted the funds through Liberalised Remittance Scheme in their bank accounts held outside India," the ED alleged.
Funds were remitted in different categories like for purchase of equity shares in Rochdale Associates Limited, family maintenances, savings received from NRI for family maintenance etc, it claimed.
"However, remitted funds were utilised to purchase the said immovable property and shares of the company were allotted against the remitted funds."
"It was declared that company is engaged in real estate business activity, however, investigation revealed that company does not have any business activity and is generating no income whatsoever," the ED alleged.
The ED had raided some premises linked to Bhosale in places like Pune, Mumbai and Kolhapur of Maharashtra in February even as it had questioned him and his son under provisions of the FEMA sometime back.