ED raids several places linked to 'Ponniyin Selvan' producer

Searches were carried out on charges of money laundering

'Ponniyin Selvan II' has crossed Rs 400 crore in box office collection 'Ponniyin Selvan II' has crossed Rs 400 crore in box office collection

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted searches in several places linked to film production company Lyca—the makers of ace director Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan I and II—in Chennai. The ED sleuths searched least eight locations including Lyca's offices in T Nagar, Adyar and Karapakkam.

The raids, according to sources, were conducted over allegations of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations and on charges under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002. The details of the searches are yet to be revealed by ED.

Lyca is one of the leading film production houses which has made several big ticket movies in Tamil with leading superstars like Rajinkanth, Vijay, Ajith, Suriya and Kamal Hassan. Enthiran, 2.0, Kaththi are a few of Lyca’s big films. Mani Ratnam’s recent super hit Ponniyin Selvan I and II were also bank-rolled by Lyca. The collection for the second part of Ponniyin Selvan has crossed Rs 400 crore in the box office. Lyca is presently working with Rajinikanth's Lal Salaam, Kamal Hassan’s Indian 2 and Ajith’s Vida Muyaarchi.

Founded by Allirajah Subashkaran in 2014, Lyca is currently headed by G.K.M. TamilKumaran, son of PMK leader G.K. Mani. The Group also owns Lyca mobiles, Lyca Tel, Lyca Chat, Lyca Fly, among many other companies.

It may be recalled that the ED had on May 11 and 12 carried out searches at the residential and business premises of lottery king Santiago Martin and his Future Gaming Solutions India Private Limited at Coimbatore under provisions of PMLA, 2002. In a press statement, the ED on Monday said that “during the searches, properties worth Rs.457 crore (approximately) in the form of FD, Mutual funds and immovable property documents were seized.”