Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday conducted searches at the residence of TRS MP Vaddiraju Ravichandra in connection with alleged violation of the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999.
The ED officials conducted searches at the Rajya Sabha member’s house at Srinagar Colony in Hyderabad.
The searches are believed to be a continuation of raids conducted on Wednesday at the offices of granite barons and state minister Gangula Kamalakar’s house.
Popularly known as Gayatri Ravi, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP is the founder chairman of Gayatri Group, a leading granite industrialist and president of Telangana Granite Quarry Owners’ Association.
Joint teams of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax Wednesday carried out simultaneous searches at multiple locations, including the residence of Civil Supplies and Backward Classes Welfare Minister Gangula Kamalakar and offices of several granite companies in Karimnagar.
Kamalakar was away on a vacation in Dubai with his family, when the joint team raided his locked house.
The searches were reportedly in connection with a probe into alleged violation of FEMA.
The officials scoured through various documents and records relating to the export of granite blocks and other business transactions of the granite firms, including Swetha Granite reportedly belonging to the minister’s brother.
On learning about the searches, minister Kamalakar rushed back to Hyderabad late Wednesday night. He told reporters at the airport that they have been in the granite business for 32 years and they operate within the purview of the law and with transparency. “There has been no violation of any rules. I returned within 16 hours. We will fully cooperate with authorities,” he said.
The simultaneous raids come in the backdrop of complaints to the central agencies against some granite companies, including the firms engaged in export of rough granite blocks from quarries in Karimnagar district to China and a few other countries over alleged violation of FEMA norms.
It was alleged that eight granite agencies evaded crores of rupees of royalty by under-measuring the granite blocks exported to various foreign countries via Kakinada and Krishnapatnam sea ports in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, resulting in a huge loss of Rs. 124.94 crore to the public exchequer.