One more DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) MP close to the Karunanidhi family is on the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for illegal overseas investments in Indonesia, Singapore and Dubai. ED has seized assets of DMK’s MP Gautham Sigamani worth more than Rs.8.6 crores for contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Dr Gautham (46) is the son of senior DMK leader Ponmudi, who was a three-time Minister in DMK supremo late Karunanidhi’s cabinet. Ponmudi is sitting MLA of DMK and the party’s district secretary of Villupuram. Gautham Sigamani represents Kallakurichi Constituency in Lok Sabha and is very close to DMK Chief MK Stalin.
ED is now looking into the Indonesian investments of many DMK leaders. During the DMK regime, controversial imports were from Indonesia. Many investigators believe trusted DMK leaders were managing the huge bribes from coal importers in Indonesia and Dubai on behalf of the party’s controlling family.
“Immovable properties in the form of agricultural lands, commercial and residential buildings among others in Tamil Nadu and movable properties in the form of bank balances and shares totalling Rs.8.6 crores held by Gautham Sigamani have been seized by the agency under the provisions of Section 37A of FEMA,” the ED said in a statement issued on Friday.
The relation between Karunanidhi and Salahuddin from mid-60s is well documented in the Sarkaria Commission Report terming Karunanidhi’s operations as “scientific corruption”.
The attached assets are equivalent to the value of the “illegally acquired foreign security and non-repatriation of foreign exchange earned abroad till date, in contravention of section 4 of the FEMA,” it added. The probe agency said it took action against the MP after it got information that he has “illegally acquired foreign security without RBI approval by contravening of the provisions of section 4 of the FEMA.”
The probe found that the MP in March 2008 made an overseas investment of USD 1,00,000 (Rs.41,57,225) in acquiring 2.45 lakh shares of PT Excel Megiddo, Jakarta and USD 55,000 (Rs.22,86,924) in Universal Business Ventures, UAE without RBI approval and hence contravened the provisions of section 4 of FEMA for the acquisition of foreign security. This period of transactions was exactly during the time coal imports took place from Indonesia. The major importer firm was controlled by Karunanidhi’s trusted man Sayyed Salahuddin, who owns a conglomerate in Dubai known as ETA Star Group. The relation between Karunanidhi and Salahuddin from mid-60s is well documented in the Sarkaria Commission Report terming Karunanidhi’s operations as “scientific corruption”.
“Shri Gautam Sigamani, being a person resident in India, failed to repatriate profits amounting to Rs.7,05,57,237 earned by him from Universal Business Ventures UAE for the financial years 2008-09 to 2012-13 and continued to hold the same abroad till date in contravention of Section 4 read with Section 8 of FEMA,1999,” said ED.
“He also failed to repatriate the balance amount lying in the bank account of Universal Business Ventures to the tune of Dirhams 6,04,783 that is equivalent to Rs 90,20,410 as on December 2012 and continues to hold the same abroad till date in contravention of section 4 read with section 8 of FEMA, 1999,” the agency said.
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