The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has conducted search and seizure operations 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 a 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 between 2011 and 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," 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 the 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 an 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.
Meanwhile, BYJU'S legal team spokesperson said that the recent visit by officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to one of their offices in Bangalore was related to a routine inquiry under FEMA.
"We have been completely transparent with the authorities and have provided them with all the information they have requested. We have nothing but the utmost confidence in the integrity of our operations, and we are committed to upholding the highest standards of compliance and ethics. 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," he said.
Underlining that it is business as usual, the spokesperson said, "We are committed to delivering high-quality educational products and services to our customers across India and the world."
Further investigation in the matter is on. [IANS/JS]