The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday seized “incriminating” documents and digital data during raids on the residence and offices of edtech major Byju's and its co-founder and chief executive officer Byju Raveendran in Bengaluru.
Raids at 3 locations over FEMA violations
The raids were conducted on three premises, one residential and two businesses, as part of a probe into violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), according to the ED.
Think & Learn Pvt Ltd has defaulted in preparing its financial statements since 2020-21 fiscal and has not got the accounts audited, which is mandatory, the ED said. Thus, the genuineness of figures provided by the company are being cross-examined from banks, it said.
BYJU's received 28,000 crore during 2011-2023 as FDI
The raids also revealed that the company received foreign direct investment (FDI) to the tune of Rs 28,000 crore during 2011-2023.
The action was taken on the basis of “various complaints" received by private people, the central agency said and alleged that Byju Raveendran was issued “several" summons but remained “evasive and never appeared" before the ED.
“The company also remitted about Rs9,754 crore to various foreign jurisdictions during the same period in the name of overseas direct investment,” the agency said. “The company has booked around Rs944 crore in the name of advertisement and marketing expenses including the amount remitted to foreign jurisdiction,” the ED said.
“Further investigation is under progress," the agency said.
Routine inquiry, have been completely transparent: Byju's
The ED action was a “routine inquiry” and the company has been “completely transparent with the authorities and have provided them with all the information they have requested”, said a spokesperson for the Byju's legal team.
“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. It is business as usual at Byju's," the spokesperson said.
Focused on transforming education, says Byju's
The edtech major said it remains focused on transforming the way students prepare for their future.
The Bengaluru-based company, co-founded by Byju Raveendran and his wife Divya Gokulnath, provides early learning, middle school education and test preparation. It was valued at $22 billion in a funding round in March 2022.