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The Times of India
The Times of India
U Sudhakar Reddy | TNN

ED finds Panama papers link to Telangana granite industry

HYDERABAD: The searches conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have led the agency to a link between Panama Paper and the granite industries in Karimnagar in Telangana.

Individuals and entities named in the Panama paper leak have financial transactions with the granite industries.

The search yielded unaccounted cash of Rs 1.08 crore, allegedly received in Hawala against exports.

The ED also seized voluminous granite dispatch data of 10 years from the quarries.

The ED found multiple benami accounts of the suspects.

The ED on November 9 and 10 conducted searches at offices and residential premise of Swetha Granites, Swetha Agencies, Sri Venkateshwara Granites Private Limited, PSR Granites Private Limited, ??Arvind Granites, Giriraj Shipping Agencies Private Limited and their related entities in Karimnagar and Hyderabad.

The searches were done to unearth FEMA Violations.

Companies covered in the search are exporting rough granite blocks to China, Hong Kong, China and other countries.

"The exported quantity was more than the quantity on which royalty was paid and there was under reporting of quantity while exporting. In many instances, the export proceeds are not realised in the declared bank accounts, thereby, indicating that the export proceeds are received through other than banking channels," the ED alleged.

ED found multiple benami bank accounts held in the name of employees of granite exporters, in which cash received against the illegal granite exports was being deposited.

Search action also led to detection of money being routed back from Chinese entities into the Indian entities in the form of hand loans without documents.

These Chinese entities are owned by Li Wenhuo, whose name appeared in Panama leaks.

ED investigation on illegal granite mining and FEMA violations has been initiated on the basis of report of vigilance and enforcement department of the state government wherein large-scale evasion of Seigniorage fee on granite blocks transported from the quarry lease areas of Karimnagar district to the sea ports by railways was detected and demands for the evaded royalty were raised but not paid by the exporters.

TRS minister Gangula Kamalakar was searched by the ED as his residence and Sweta Granites owned by his family members is the same.

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