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ED registers money laundering case in Chinese hawala scam

ED registers money laundering case in Chinese hawala scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said it has registered a case of money laundering against Luo Sang alias Charlie Peng and others in Chinese hawala scam.

A top ED official told IANS, "We have registered a case of money laundering under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in Chinese hawala scam."

The financial probe agency action comes days after the Income Tax department on August 11 mounted a search at various premises of identified Chinese entities, their close confederates and couple of bank employees.

The IT department action was followed after credible information with the tax department that a few Chinese individuals and their Indian associates were involved in money laundering and 'hawala' transactions, via a series of shell entities.

The search operation revealed that at the behest of Chinese individuals, more than 40 bank accounts were created in various dummy entities entering into credits of more than Rs 1,000 crore over the period.

Allegedly, Peng had even bribed some 'lamas' (Buddhist spiritual monk) in Delhi's Majnu ka Tila to gather information on Dalai Lama and his associate. Peng used the Chinese app 'WeChat', now banned in India—for necessary communications.

A Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) statement also said that a subsidiary of a Chinese company and its related concerns have taken over Rs 100 crore bogus advances from shell entities for opening retail showrooms in India.

Incriminating documents linked to hawala transactions and laundering of money with active involvement of bank employees and chartered accountants has been found during the search.

Evidence of foreign hawala transactions involving Hong Kong and US dollars have also been unearthed. The tax department is continuing further investigation..