ED raids Brightcom Group in Hyderabad; cash, gold, bullion recovered

Hyderabad Desk

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said that it conducted searches at five locations in Hyderabad in connection with a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violation case involving the Brightcom Group which led to the recovery of Rs 3.30 crore in cash as well as gold jewellery and bullion worth Rs 9.30 crore.

The search operations were carried out at the offices of Brightcom Group Ltd.; the residences of company CEO M. Suresh Reddy and CFO S.L.N. Raju; and the home and office of company auditor P. Murali Mohana Rao.

During the search operations, various incriminating documents and digital devices were also recovered.

The unaccounted cash, gold jewellery and bullion were seized from the residence of Rao.

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The ED initiated the FEMA probe based on an investigation being conducted by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regarding impairment of assets worth Rs 868.30 crore by the Brightcom Group through its subsidiaries abroad.

The ED enquiry revealed several violations of the provisions of FEMA, by Brightcom Group Limited.

It was revealed that Brightcom itself financed the preferential issues by round-tripping funds through subsidiaries and conduit entities; and that Brightcom falsely claimed to have received full payment for preferential shares by providing ‘forged and fabricated bank statements’ to SEBI.

“More than three hundred crore rupees advanced as loans to subsidiaries were partly siphoned off or remained unaccounted. The statutory auditors, P Murali & Co. and PCN & Associates (related entity of P Murali & Co.), apart from failing to report outright fraud, colluded with the management of the company,” said the ED.

Further investigation into the matter is ongoing.

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