India launches probe against Wal-Mart - law enforcement source

NEW DELHI Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:47am EST

NEW DELHI Nov 16 (Reuters) - India is investigating Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over allegations it violated the country's foreign exchange rules, a senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the matter, told Reuters on Friday.

An Indian lawmaker has accused Wal-Mart of "clandestinely and illegally" investing $100 million in the multi-brand retail business of its wholesale joint venture partner, Bharti Enterprises, as early as 2010, before India allowed foreign companies to operate front-end stores.

"Yes, the Enforcement Directorate has initiated an investigation into the allegations against Wal-Mart," said the official, who declined to be named.

Wal-Mart has denied the allegations since they first surfaced last month and said it is in compliance with Indian laws.

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