Bengaluru: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) searched the human rights body Amnesty International India's headquarters in Bengaluru for remittances from abroad allegedly in violation of FDI guidelines, said an official on Thursday.
"We have been conducting searches at Amnesty's office in Bengaluru and its Director's (Aakar Patel) residence in the city since afternoon," an ED source told IANS from New Delhi.
In a statement later, the economic intelligence agency (ED) said Amnesty had received Rs 36-crore foreign funds till date from overseas in violation of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) guidelines.
"The Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) resorted to bypass the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA) by floating commercial entity in the name of Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL) after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) denied permission for its registration," said the Directorate in the statement.
Of the Rs 36 crore received through commercial route, Rs 10 crore was placed in FD (fixed deposit) as it is a long-term loan.
"The NGO's another entity - Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT) had opened an overdraft facility for Rs 14.25 crore by keeping the Rs 10-crore FD as collateral," noted the statement.
The remaining Rs 26 crore was received in two other bank accounts of AIIPL as aconsultancy services'.
"Searches were conducted at Amnesty's Bengaluru office in this background and further investigation is in progress,a added the statement.
An Amnesty official confirmed the search, which began on Thursday afternoon.
"The search has been on since afternoon," the official told IANS later.