The Enforcement Directorate has initiated the process for registering a money laundering case against Amnesty International India Private Limited and its related entities, based on an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation on November 5.
Although the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, whose provisions have been invoked by the CBI in its case, is not listed in the schedule of predicate offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code is covered.
Inclusion of Section 120-B as an alleged offence in the CBI FIR enables the ED to initiate money laundering investigation.
Last year, on a reference from the Department of Revenue, the ED had carried out an inquiry against the company and others under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, which prescribes a maximum of 300% penalty of the amount involved. The law deals with offences of civil nature.
Based on the findings, on July 25, the ED had served a show-cause notice for alleged violation involving ₹51.72 crore.
The ED’s report to the Home Ministry has been made part of the criminal case registered by the CBI, which carried out searches on the premises of Amnesty India last week. Among those named in the FIR are also Indians for Amnesty International Trust, Amnesty International India Foundation Trust and Amnesty International South Asia Foundation.