ED searches Cong's Telangana candidate Vivek Venkatswamy in FEMA case probe

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Hyderabad, Nov 21 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday searched the premises of Congress candidate from Telangana's Chennur seat Vivek Venkatswamy and some others as part of a hawala-linked foreign exchange violation probe, official sources said.

The 119 assembly seats of the state will go to polls on November 30.

The sources said the federal agency is undertaking the searches under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in Chennur (Mancherial district) and Hyderabad, they said.

A suspected bank transaction of Rs 8 crore that was carried out recently and is allegedly linked to a company promoted by the Congress leader is under the scanner of the agency, the sources said.

The ED acted on an information that was first received by the Telangana chief electoral officer (CEO), they said.

The former MP, early this month, had resigned from the BJP and joined the Congress in the presence of party leader Rahul Gandhi in Hyderabad. He has earlier been in the Congress from where he moved to the BRS party of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and then to the BJP.

With declared assets worth over Rs 600 crore, Vivek is the richest politician contesting the November 30 assembly polls in Telangana.

Vivek and his wife own movable assets valued at Rs 377 crore, mostly shares in various companies, including his own Visaka Industries, which was founded in 1981.

The family's immovable assets stood at over Rs 225 crore.  According to the affidavit filed by him, Vivek and his wife have liabilities or loans worth Rs 41.5 crore.  Vivek's annual income grew to Rs 6.26 crore during the last fiscal from Rs 4.66 crore in FY19 while that of his wife rose to Rs 9.61 crore from Rs 6.09 crore during the same period. PTI NES ZMN

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