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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hawala Fraud in India

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate has found that some Delhi-based exporters have been bringing in more than just valuable foreign exchange into the country -- unaccounted wealth through the 'hawala' money laundering route.

Sources in the Directorate, which busted the Rs 200-crore hawala racket recently and is making further investigations, said it has been found out that nearly 30 export and import houses were using the illegal remittance route to transfer money.

  • The role of these firms has come to light with the seizure of documents and log books maintained by two hawala operators about payments, the sources said.
  • The ED has registered a case under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against the two hawala operators in Chandni Chowk and Ashok Vihar area of the national capital, after it recovered Rs four crore in cash from the duo, sources said.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has already been informed about the role of export-import houses.

  • Prima facie, it seemed that exporters and importers have evaded duty or taken advantage of government rebate either by under or over invoicing.
  • According to sources, the list also included star trading houses, who enjoy a lot of benefits and rebates from the government on account of doing business of high value in terms of foreign exchange.
  • Interestingly, the ED also recovered fake currency to the tune of few thousands in Rs 100 denominations, while counting the total amount seized.
The Rest @ Times of India

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