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ED starts probe into yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s businesses

Posted by on July 6, 2011 0 Comment

The Enforcement Directorate has launch ED an inquiry against yoga guru Ramdev who claims to have a turnover of more than Rs 1,000 crore and lords over half-a-dozen trusts and businesses associated with them.

The agency is looking into complaints of violations of foreign exchange laws and suspected money laundering, a senior official said. The ED has already written to the corporate affairs ministry and the Punjab National Bank to provide transaction details of all business ventures associated with the yoga guru and his close aide Balkrishna.

A senior ED official said they had also started overseas inquiries to verify details of Ramdev’s investments abroad and channels of his fund raising.

The ED probe comes less than a month after the midnight crackdown on Ramdev’s supporters at Ramlila grounds here after he refused to call off an indefinite hunger strike demanding a commitment from the government to bring back black money stashed abroad.

TOI had in its June 10 edition reported that Ramdev’s flagship Patanjali Ayurveda had raised money through unrelated business transactions. It had taken deposits from retailers to sell their products. The sales graph of the company also showed uneven transactions. For instance, the proceeds from just two products, Amla and Aloe Vera juices, were to the tune of Rs 25 crore in one year.

ED will look into all export shipments made by Ramdev’s ventures and verify the authenticity of recipients and money transactions. It may call for records from the Customs department to verify claims. The inquiries are being made under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). No case has yet been registered.

Ramdev owns an island in Scotland “gifted” by one of his followers. Sources said the agency will go into the transaction details of the Poddar couple who gifted the island to the yoga guru and look into their linkage with Ramdev’s trusts.

As per the records of Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd with the Registrar of Companies, the Poddar couple hold nearly 25 lakh shares in the company or roughly 7% stake in the flagship venture. The other big stakeholder in Patanjali is Balkrishna who holds 92% of the shares. Economic Times

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