ED investigating Philip Morris, Godfrey Phillips
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating Philip Morris International Inc and its Indian partner Godfrey Phillips for alleged violation of foreign direct investment rules, a senior directorate source said on Friday.
The ED has been looking into both the companies and the scope of the investigation is much broader than the alleged foreign investment law violations that came into the light on Wednesday, the source said.
Philip Morris has for years paid manufacturing costs to Godfrey Phillips to make its Marlboro cigarettes, circumventing a nine-year-old government ban on foreign direct investment in the industry,
“Both companies are being looked into,” said the source, who declined to be named citing sensitivity of the investigation. The source declined to share further details of the probe.
A spokesperson for the Enforcement Directorate did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Philip Morris and Godfrey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Philip Morris has previously said its business arrangements with Godfrey comply with India’s foreign direct investment rules.
Godfrey has said all the commercial arrangements “are in complete compliance with the extant regulations governing” India’s foreign direct investment and other laws.