Illegal human hair smuggling racket busted; searches held across India

Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) here conducted searches between the city and north eastern states pertaining to money laundering and smuggling of raw human hear earlier this month on February 9 and 10 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002.

The searches were held at multiple locations spread from Hyderabad to Aizwal, and even further upto the Myanmar border town of Champai in Mizoram in north east India. A firm from the city was also booked by the police for reportedly indulging in the trade.

The searches were conducted in money laundering investigations pertaining to smuggling of raw human hair from India to Myanmar through illegal land routes via Mizoram, which reportedly generate lots of cash. Large part of cash thus generated was used for making illegal compensatory payments through unauthorised channels for smuggled hair and under-valued exports of human hair from entities spread across India.

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ED officials initiated money laundering investigations after it came across large hawala payments to local hair traders in the fund trail investigation of online Chinese betting mobile applications. Subsequently, based on ED’s complaint, the Central Crime Station of the Hyderabad police registered a fresh FIR under various Section of IPC Act,1860, against M/s Nayla Family Exports Private Limited.

It is alleged that the firm, whose director is one Md Ibrahim Patel, exported human hairs by using benami Import Export Code (IEC) of multiple local proprietary firms. Also large scale domestic sales of raw human hair was taking place from AP & Telangana to Guwahati & Kolkata.

All this domestically sold hair was ultimately findings its way to China via Myanmar and  sale proceeds were surprisingly being received from shell Bank Accounts in Mizoram. “ED conducted fund trail investigation and zeroed in on the following Shell entities based in Mizoram which were taking in hundreds of crores of cash deposits and then remitting the deposited amount to several hair merchants spread across India,” said a press release from the Enforcement DIrectorate.

According to the ED, one Lucas Thangmangliana (resident of remote Champai District) is the chief facilitator of this mammoth hawala operation. ED officials seized various incriminating documents, hand written diaries, digital devices and also recovered cash of Rs 1.20 crore after the searches. It also identified various suspicious bank accounts which were reportedly being used for huge cash deposits.

The ED has issued freezing orders under the PMLA against such 139 Bank accounts. Statements of Bankers and account holders are being recorded.

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