The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday evening said it has provisionally attached movable assets worth Rs 17.66 crore of Amnesty International India and others. The action was taken after the agency began an investigation on the basis of a Central Bureau of Investigation complaint.
“ED has provisionally attached movable properties worth Rs 17.66 crores in case of M/s Amnesty International India Private Limited and others,” the agency’s official account tweeted. In a statement, the central agency said the total attachment in the case stands at Rs 19.54 crore, reported the Hindustan Times.
The statement said that Amnesty International India Private Limited and Indians for Amnesty International Trust acquired the “proceeds of crime” and layered it in the form of various movable properties.
The organisation has been accused of money laundering and criminal conspiracy, according to Times Now. The central agency said that the Amnesty International India Foundation Trust was given permission during 2011-’12 for receiving foreign contributions from the Amnesty International-United Kingdom, reported The Hindu. However, it was cancelled following adverse inputs received from security agencies.
The agency alleged that the Indians for Amnesty International Trust and the Amnesty International India Private Limited were then formed in 2012-’13 and 2013-’14 to “escape the FCRA [Foreign Contribution Regulation Act] route and carried out NGO activities in the guise of service export and FDI [Foreign Direct Investment]”.
“It is prima facie found that M/s Amnesty International India Pvt. Ltd. and others have obtained foreign remittances to the tune of Rs 51.72 crores in the guise Export of services and Foreign Direct Investments from M/s. Amnesty International (UK) whose source is the donations from the individual donors,” the statement added.
In September, the human rights organisation alleged that it was being forced to shut its operations as the Indian government had frozen its bank accounts. The group said its “lawful fundraising model” was being portrayed as money laundering because Amnesty India had challenged the “government’s grave inactions and excesses”.
The Centre had last year accused the group of violating foreign funding laws, and called its allegations unfortunate, exaggerated and “far from the truth”. Amnesty’s “glossy statements” about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power were nothing but a “ploy to divert attention” from their activities, which were in “clear contravention” of Indian laws, it had said. The government accused the group of trying to “extraneously influence” the investigations by multiple agencies into the alleged irregularities and illegalities carried out by it.