ED seizes Rs 8.26 crore assets of online education company, owned by Chinese nationals


New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday seized Rs 8.26 crore funds of a Bengaluru-based online education company, owned & controlled by Chinese nationals.

The online education firm, providing study material under the brand name ‘Odaclass’ was under the scanner of probe agency scanner for alleged money laundering & violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

“The funds of Pigeon Education Technology Private Limited have been seized under Section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA),” the ED said in a statement.

Last month, the ED sleuths conducted searches at two locations of Bangaluru based education firm and found that it had remitted about Rs 82 crore illegally to China.

It also concluded that the Bengaluru-based firm was completely owned by Chinese nationals and the company was being run as per the directions of these people sitting in China. During the searches, the sleuths also recovered some incriminating documents and forensic data from electronic devices.

The agency said that the company has siphoned off Rs 82.72 crore to its Chinese operators, bypassing the Indian laws & regulations. The company acting on the instructions of Chinese director Liu Can, transferred the money out of country citing advertisements & fake marketing expenses.

“The company could not produce any proof of receipt of service on its part and proof of any advertisement published against the said expenses,” it said.

The company’s India head Vedanta Hamirwasia reportedly said on record that they were briefed by Chinese director about advertisements & promotions via Google & Facebook, however, they were never furnished with invoice of the same.

The agency found that the Bengaluru-based firm though has its India business heads but the entire decision-making from financials to regulations, all are done ‘as per instructions’ of Chinese head.