Times group under ED scanner, What’s the matter?

Bennett Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL), a media conglomerate and publisher of the Times of India newspaper, is now under the scanner of the central agencies. BCCL is owned by The Times of India Group. The managers of the company have to face interrogation from ED Enforcement Directorate in several stages.

According to a report by Indian Express, senior managers of the company have been questioned multiple times by the Enforcement Directorate for suspected FEMA and PMLA violations. Agencies have also reportedly sent requests for corroborating information to overseas destinations.

Recently, the ED apprised the Times Group of concrete information about the offshore investment. BCCL owns media and entertainment platforms in multiple languages. These also include digital and radio.

In the last few weeks, the company’s chairman Shivakumar Sundaram and chief financial officer Himanshu Agarwal have been questioned by the ED at its Delhi headquarters. Officials say that the financial transactions of BCCL are under investigation.

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This case is about sending Rs 900 crore to BCCL and the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands are known as a safe haven for tax evasion. According to the news of the Indian Express, it is alleged that Times Group has violated the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Apart from this, the company is also under the scanner of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Sivakumar Sundaram, chairman of the company’s Executive Committee (CEC), and Himanshu Agarwal, its chief financial officer (CFO), have been called in for questioning at ED’s headquarters in New Delhi.

The Times of India bosses are being questioned under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). If this information from Indian Express is true, it means that the ED suspects that the bosses of the Times of India (BCCL) have diverted money to the British Virgin Islands, which is a tax haven.

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