New Delhi, Sep 3 : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Wednesday that it has arrested notorious hawala operator Naresh Jain, who is suspected to have facilitated illegal transactions amounting to more than Rs 96,000 crore in India using over 600 accounts.
A senior ED official told IANS that the agency has arrested Jain under the sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
A Delhi court sent him to nine days’ ED custody.
The official said that Jain along his accomplices has allegedly facilitated illegal transactions involving more than Rs 96,000 crore in India using over 600 bank accounts.
He said that Jain also transferred about Rs 11,800 crore to 114 overseas bank accounts on various pretexts.
The official said that he was arrested following a case registered by Economic Offences Wing (EOW).
He said that investigation conducted so far has revealed that Jain along with his accomplices hatched a criminal conspiracy to forge or fabricate documents in order to cause loss to the government exchequer by indulging in illegal foreign exchange transactions.
The official claimed that Jain allegedly ran an international syndicate of transferring funds through hawala channels using shell companies, tour-and-travel firms and through the formal banking network.
He said documents like identity proof, birth and education certificates, voter IDs, PAN cards and signatures were forged or fabricated to incorporate entities, operating bank accounts, facilitating bogus or over-invoiced or under-invoiced import and export transactions and rotation of the funds through a web of shell companies to cause undue benefit to the parties involved and loss to the government exchequer.
The official also said that Jain also facilitated parking of funds abroad by Indian nationals through his international hawala transaction structure created in India and in various other jurisdictions.
The official said that during investigation, it has been revealed that 450 shell companies have been used to rotate funds to the tune of Rs 96,000 crore for providing accommodation entries of Rs 18,680 crore to more than 970 beneficiaries.
The Delhi-based businessman has been under the scanner of the probe agencies for some time now and in 2016, the financial probe agency had slapped a Rs 1,204 crore notice on him for alleged contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
The official said that Jain had financed contraband networks and was also arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the past.
He said that Jain was arrested by the NCB on December 6, 2009, following which he was picked up by the ED. He remained in judicial detention and custody for over a year.
He claimed that Jain was once pursued by the law enforcement agencies of Italy and the UAE and he had also come under the scanner of authorities in the US and the UK.
In its 2009 report shared with the Indian agencies, the UK’s Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) had said that it had been tracking a money laundering racket involving the Delhi-based businessman, who was then allegedly operating from Dubai, and his accomplices since 2005.
Another ED official said that authorities in the UAE had sent a report to their Indian counterparts in 2009-10, alleging that Jain’s syndicate facilitated money transfers in dirhams worth about Rs 2 lakh crore, suspected to have been raised through drug trade and bribery.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.