The Enforcement Directorate has issued a showcause notice worth Rs 52 crore to human rights watchdog Amnesty International for alleged foreign exchange violations.
According to the ED, the showcause notice was issued to M/s Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd in July “for alleged violation of FEMA under Borrowing and Lending Regulations to the tune of Rs 51.72 crores for rendering Civil Society activities in India by getting remittances from parent body Amnesty International UK in the garb of export of services”.
The ED had earlier registered a case in 2018 based on action taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs against Amnesty. It had even conducted searches at various premises connected to the organisation in Bengaluru and elsewhere.
The FCRA licence of the NGO had been cancelled by the Union Home Ministry in 2010, the ED said.
“After Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) was denied the permission/registration under FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) by the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) they resorted to bypass the FCRA by floating commercial entity in the name of Amnesty lnternational India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL).
“This entity has received foreign funds through commercial route to the extent of Rs 36 crore till date,” the ED had said earlier in a statement.
Out of the total amount of Rs 36 crore, it said, Rs 10 crore was received as long-term loans.
Amnesty International did not respond to e-mails seeking their response.