The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Friday that it has attached Rs 1.54 crore lying in bank accounts of Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had initiated the money laundering probe on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI against Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL) and others under Section 120(B) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Sections 11, 35 and 39 of Foreign Contributions Regulatory Act (FCRA).
The Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) had been granted permission under the FCRA in 2011-12 for receiving foreign contributions from Amnesty International. However, the same was cancelled later. The IAIT and AIIPL were formed in 2012-13 and 2013-14, respectively, to ‘escape’ the FCRA route and carried out NGO activities in the guise of service export and FDI.
The ED learnt during the investigation that upon cancellation of FCRA licence of Amnesty International India Foundation Trust, a new method was adopted by Amnesty entities to receive money from abroad, and Amnesty International (UK), sent Rs 51.72 crore to AIIPL in the guise of export of services and foreign direct investment. However, no documentary proof for the alleged exports, such as invoices and copies of agreements, were submitted during the investigation.
“It is prima facie found that Amnesty International (UK) invested in Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd in the form of ‘compulsory convertible debentures’,” an ED official said.
Subsequently, IAIT established an overdraft facility for Rs 14.25 crore, keeping Rs 10 crore FD of AIIPL as collateral. The overdraft facility was used by IAIT for Amnesty India’s NGO activities, including paying salary and other administrative and operational expenses.
The total attachment in the case now stands at Rs 21.08 crore.