ED searches properties of Byju’s CEO for violating foreign funding laws

ED hasseized several incriminating documents and data

| Updated: 29 April, 2023 12:24 pm IST
Byju Raveendran was a maths tutor before he co-founded BYJU's with his wife Divya Gokulnath in 2011.

New Delhi: Tightening its noose around ed-tech firm Byju’s, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches on Saturday at the premises of Byju Raveendran, the CEO of Bengaluru-based BYJU’s, for allegedly violating foreign funding laws.

The firm received ₹28,000 crore as FDI between 2011 and 2023. Two business and one residential premises in Bengaluru were searched by the probe agency in connection with a case against Raveendran and his company ‘Think & Learn Private Limited’ under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Several incriminating documents and data were seized during the search, the ED said. “FEMA searches also revealed that the company received foreign direct investment (FDI) to the tune of ₹28,000 crore (approx) during the period from 2011 to 2023,” the financial probe agency said in a statement. The ED also said that the ed-tech firm sent around ₹9,754 crore to various foreign entities in the name of overseas direct investment during the same period.

The company also booked around ₹944 crore in the name of advertisement and marketing expenses, including the amount remitted to foreign jurisdictions.

“The company has not prepared its financial statements since the financial year 2020-21 and has not got the accounts audited, which is mandatory. Hence, the genuineness of the figures provided by the company is being cross-examined from the banks,” the ED said.

The investigation against the platform was initiated based on various complaints received from private persons. The ED also issued several summonses to founder and CEO Raveendaran Byju.

“However, he always remained evasive and never appeared during the investigation,” it added.

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