The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Wednesday arrested a 45-year-old Malappuram native for violating the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

This is the first time the department has arrested a person from the State under the Act. John Kingsly, the joint director of ED, said the accused, identified as Sainuddeen Madathil (45) of Manjeri was arrested for his involvement in a hawala deal worth Rs. 60 crore. “The adjudicating authority found him guilty in a case that was registered in 2010 and he was asked to pay a fine of Rs.15 lakh. Despite repeated reminders, he refused to remit the amount and we decided to send him to jail to make an example of him for other defaulters,” he said.

Mr. Kingsly also said the department had launched a probe into the allegations of tax evasion and FEMA violation by some Malayalam film actors. The official, however, refused to divulge names. “The probe has just begun and revealing the names of the suspects might enable them to prepare for an inquiry and manipulate their assets before a raid,” he said.

Mr. Kingsly also said a series of investigations are on into educational scams, including that of Kavitha Pillai, who is accused of cheating many by offering seats in various medical colleges in the State. The ED has also attached properties worth Rs. 2.67 crore of Joby George, the NRI businessman who allegedly cheated many by offering educational opportunities at various universities in the U.K.

More In: Kochi