New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has conducted search and seizure operation at three premises of Raveendaran Byju and his company 'Think & Learn Private Limited' in Bengaluru under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), an official said on Saturday.
The company runs popular online education portal by the name of Byju's. During the searches, various incriminating documents and digital data were seized.
"FEMA searches also revealed that the company has received foreign direct investment to the tune of Rs 28,000 crore (Rs28 billion) between 2011 and 2023. Further, the company has also remitted Rs 9754 crore to various foreign jurisdictions during the same period in the name of overseas direct investment," said the official.
According to the ED, the company has booked around Rs 944 crore in the name of advertisement and marketing expenses, including the amount remitted to foreign jurisdiction. It alleged that company has not prepared its financial statements since financial year 2020-21 and has not got the accounts audited which is mandatory.
"Hence, the genuineness of the figures provided by the company are being cross examined from the banks. Investigation against the platform was initiated on the basis of various complaints received from various private persons. During investigation conducted by the probe agency, several summons were issued to the founder and CEO Raveendaran Byju. However, he always remained evasive and never appeared during the investigation," said the official.
"We have been completely transparent with the authorities and have provided them with all the information they have requested," a spokesperson for Byju's said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg.
"We will continue to work closely with the authorities to ensure that they have all the information they need, and we are confident that this matter will be resolved in a timely and satisfactory manner."
Further investigation in the matter is on.