The Enforcement Directorate(ED), Delhi has confiscated land property of four foreigners as part of legal action for purchasing of property in Goa by them in contravention of provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Chief Minister Digambar Kamat disclosed this at a press conference here on Monday and said that three of the four cases of property purchase were from Morjim and one from Anjuna, both coastal villages of north Goa. He said the total area involved is 22 lakh sq. metres, but did not divulge the details of the foreigners.
In case of such violations, FEMA's section 13 prescribes that penalty may be imposed and land or property can also be confiscated.
Mr. Kamat said that a large number of cases had been referred by the Goa Government to the ED for probe after the State Government found prima facie evidence in them of violations of FEMA by foreigners.
An official of the ED some time back had told media in Goa that 50 companies floated by foreigners and 300-odd individual cases of foreign nationals purchasing immovable properties in Goa were being probed for FEMA violations. Many companies were floated for business as a facade, they had found during the probe. The ED was also probing the nature of sources of funds behind these purchases.
The issue had agitated the coastal people of the State for last some years with large number of foreigners on tourist visa having purchased immovable property in coastal tourist belt.
In some areas like Morjim, local people had complained that even agricultural land was not spared.
According to sources in the State government, maximum of these cases pertain to British and Russians.
After the issue was debated in the State Assembly with members cutting across the party lines expressing serious concern over the issue, the government had handed over nearly 400 cases to the ED for further probe and action.