ED raids Sequoia's Bengaluru office on links with Vasan Healthcare
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the Bengaluru office of silicon valley's marquee venture capital (VC) firm Sequoia Capital India on Tuesday, in connection with an ongoing investigation into the Chennai-based Vasan Healthcare Group, owned by entrepreneur AM Arun. Sequoia holds a minority stake in Vasan Healthcare Group.
Officials said a team of agency sleuths carried out searches at the business premises of Sequoia Capital in Bengaluru under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), adding that the action was necessitated as the ED is probing Vasan Eye Care, with which Karti Chidambaram, son of erstwhile finance minister P Chidambaram, was once linked. Sources added that investigators picked up some documents as part of the search.
Confirming the raids, the VC firm on Tuesday tweeted, “Yesterday’s ED visit is part of the ongoing investigation into Vasan where Sequoia India is a minority investor along with others. Sequoia has adopted a policy of full compliance with that investigation and has dutifully responded to governmental inquiries received to date. We continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation on Vasan.”
In December last year, the ED, along with the income tax department, had conducted searches at Vasan Healthcare and Advantage Strategic Consulting as part of a probe into suspected violation of foreign exchange rules. The current raid is seen as a continuation to the developments last year.
Based on a complaint filed by M Srinivasa Rao, commissioner of income tax (central) to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy had earlier alleged that Karti Chidambaram owns Vasan Eye Care through front companies.