ED seizes Punjab Congressman's house for holding illegal asset in Canada

New Delhi, Jul 1 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said it has issued an order for seizing the house of a Punjab-based Congress politician for allegedly holding an illegal asset in Canada's Ontario province.

The central probe agency said it has issued an order under Section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for seizing Sukhwinder Singh Lally's residential premises at Nangal Shama village in Jalandhar worth Rs 2 crore and that is 'equivalent' in value to the alleged 'illegally held undeclared asset abroad.' The agency said it raided Lally in December last year after it got inputs that he had 'illegal dealings in foreign exchange.' During the searches, the ED said, 'certain incriminating documents were seized which reflected illegal acquisition of property by Lally in Ontario, Canada for around CAD 3,60,000.' Probe found, the ED said, that 'the money required for purchase of the house in Canada was illegally transferred by Lally through non-banking channels from India and part of the payment was also arranged by him through his friend in Canada without adhering to the due procedures laid down under the FEMA and prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India.' The ED then invoked sections of the FEMA that empowers it to seize property of equivalent value in India.

The agency alleged that Lally also 'maintained undeclared bank accounts in Canada.' 'It is also revealed that Lally received Rs 16.5 lakh in India from a resident of New Zealand in an unauthorised manner.'  'He (Lally) has also arranged funds for his relative in Canada to the tune of CAD 4,500 in an unauthorised manner and in violation of FEMA provisions,' the agency claimed.

Investigation in the case is continuing, it said. PTI NES AAR AAR