Indian agency attaches Joyalukkas chairman's assets worth $37 million
BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's financial crime agency said on Friday it conducted searches and attached assets worth 3.06 billion rupees ($36.98 million) belonging to the chairman of jeweller Joyalukkas in a case related to alleged violation of foreign exchange laws.
The Enforcement Directorate alleged a huge amount of cash was transferred to Dubai from India through so-called 'hawala' channels and then invested in Joy Alukkas Jewellery LLC, Dubai, which is fully owned by Alukkas Varghese Joy.
The chairman could not be reached, while Joyalukkas did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment.
The agency said in a statement that it searched five premises of the jewellery group on Feb. 22, during which it found evidence of "active involvement" of Varghese Joy in those transactions.
The agency's move also came days after Joyalukkas, which runs showrooms in around 68 cities in India, withdrew its $278 million initial public offering due to market conditions and to incorporate changes to its financial results.
($1 = 82.7500 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)