BYJU’S CEO under investigation for FEMA violations

According to reports, a complaint was filed against BYJU’S for alleged contraventions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) amounting to Rs 9,362.35 crore. T

| Updated: 22 February, 2024 2:10 pm IST

New Delhi: A Look Out Circular has been issued against Raveendran, the CEO of Ed-tech company BYJU’S, in connection with violations of FEMA rules amounting to Rs 9,362.35 crore.

According to reports, a complaint was filed against BYJU’S for alleged contraventions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) amounting to Rs 9,362.35 crore. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently requested the CBI to issue a Look Out Circular (LOC) against Raveendran, the CEO of the firm.

Sources stated that after the request, the LOC was issued in this matter. However, no official was available to comment on the matter. The ED sources mentioned that they want Raveendran to seek prior permission before leaving the country.

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The education technology company has been facing FEMA charges for a considerable period. According to reports, in November last year, a show cause notice was issued to Think & Learn Private Limited, the parent company of BYJU’S.

In April last year, the ED conducted searches and seizure actions at three premises (two business and one residential) in Bengaluru in the case of Raveendaran Byju and his company ‘Think & Learn Private Limited’ under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The company operates the popular online education portal BYJU’S. During the search and seizure actions, various incriminating documents and digital data were seized.

“FEMA searches also revealed that the company has received foreign direct investment amounting to Rs. 28,000 Crore during the period from 2011 to 2023. Further, the company has also remitted Rs. 9,754 Crore to various foreign jurisdictions during the same period in the name of overseas direct investment,” ED had said at that time.

The ED alleged that the company booked around Rs. 944 Crore in the name of advertisement and marketing expenses, including the amount remitted to foreign jurisdictions. They also alleged that the company did not prepare its financial statements since the financial year 2020-21 and has not had the accounts audited, which was mandatory.

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“Hence, the genuineness of the figures provided by the company is being cross-examined with the banks. The investigation against the platform was initiated based on various complaints received from private individuals. During the investigation conducted by the ED, several summonses were issued to the founder and CEO Raveendaran Byju, however, he always remained evasive and never appeared during the investigation,” the ED had said.

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