(This article is authored by Alar)
In a surprise move, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted searches at the offices of LYCA Productions, one of the leading film production companies in India. LYCA Productions is known for producing big-budget movies like 2.0, Don, Ponniyin Selvan, starring some of the top actors and directors in the industry.
The ED sleuths raided eight locations in Chennai, including T Nagar, Adyar and Karapakkam, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Sources said that the ED is probing allegations of illegal money exchange and foreign investment violations by LYCA Productions and its subsidiaries.
LYCA Productions was established by Subaskaran Allirajah in 2014, a subgroup of Lycamobile, a UK-based mobile network operator. The company made its debut with the Tamil film Kaththi, directed by AR Murugadoss and starring Vijay. Since then, it has produced several blockbuster movies in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi languages, such as 2.0, Darbar, Kaappaan and Chehre.
According to the ED, the action against the accused entities came on the basis of an FIR registered by CBI against Karan A Chanana, his relatives, Amira Pure Foods Pvt. Ltd. and others under various sections of IPC, 1860 for committing fraud, criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, cheating, etc. causing wrongful loss to the tune of approx--Rs. 1201.85 crore to the consortium of banks led by Canara Bank.
The statement from ED reads, "It was also known that Karan A Chanana had donated 250,000 GBP to a political party in the United Kingdom since 2019 through one of the subsidiary companies of the accused entity, Amira Pure Foods Pvt. Ltd., while the accused entity had itself defaulted on repayment of loans and was declared as NPA in the year 2016 - 17 by consortium member Banks,"
The company is currently involved in some of the most anticipated projects in Indian cinema, such as Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan and Shankar’s Indian 2. The ED raids have raised concerns among the fans and the industry about the fate of these movies.
The ED has not yet revealed any details about the outcome of the searches or the nature of the charges against LYCA Productions. The company has also not issued any official statement on the matter so far.
ED conducts raids at LYCA Productions in Chennai. More details awaited: Sources pic.twitter.com/lZOX7pE9ks— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2023