India’s ED recovers assets worth $3 million from Hero MotorCorp’s Munjal

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) has recovered assets worth $3 million from Hero MotoCorp’s chairperson, Pawan Kant Munjal, and others, following a money-laundering investigation, the agency said on Wednesday.

The agency’s probe follows complaints that 540 million rupees ($6.53 million) worth of foreign currency and other valuable items were illegally moved to offshore locations by Hero’s third-party vendor that was later used by Munjal for his personal expenses, it said in a statement.

The ED has recovered foreign currency, cash, gold, and diamond jewelry worth about 250 million rupees, after it conducted searches at 12 premises owned by the company and its promoter, the agency said.

Hero, which is India’s largest two-wheeler maker, said on Tuesday that officials from the agency had visited its offices in Delhi and Gurugram as well as Munjal’s residence.

The ED’s actions come after the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in June had ordered an investigation into Hero’s relationship with the third-party vendor, Salt Experience and Management, in a case related to the alleged diversion of funds.

Hero was also under the scrutiny of India’s income tax authorities last year which was termed as “routine inquiry” by the company.

Hero shares closed 3.5% lower on Wednesday.

($1 = 82.7240 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Dimpal Gulwani in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)