ED summons Amazon India V-P in forex case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Amazon India vice-president Manish Tiwary next week to its Delhi headquarter in connection with the forex norms violation case against the ecommerce major, said people in know.

The agency is looking into alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) when Amazon invested ₹1,431 crore to purchase 49% in Kishore Biyani-led Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) in 2019 and if it complied with all the applicable regulations.

“He was asked to make a personal appearance as country head Amit Agrawal, who is currently in the US, refused to join the probe citing his limited role in the matter,” said an official. Agrawal, who was asked to appear on December 7, had on that day excused himself saying he had moved to the US.

An email sent to Amazon India spokesperson did not elicit any response.

Tiwary, who had joined Amazon India in 2016, is the second senior-most executive after Agrawal. Agrawal is global senior vice-president and head for Amazon India. He is also a part of a core team of senior leaders with a direct line to founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos.

However, other executives summoned joined the investigation and submitted documents sought by officials. ED is learnt to have recorded statements and sought more documents from them.

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The summon to Tiwary has been issued even as the e-commerce giant moved the Delhi High Court on December 21 seeking relief from the investigation, arguing it is “beyond the scope and power” of the agency under India’s foreign exchange laws.

The court is yet to admit Amazon’s petition.

A week prior, Competition Commission of India (CCI) also imposed a ₹200 crore fine on Amazon, ruling that it had not disclosed its interest in the Indian retailer.

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