Hawala dealer Naresh Jain generated Rs 565-crore black money: ED

PTI, Nov 3, 2020, 6:59 PM IST

New Delhi: Alleged hawala dealer Naresh Jain and his accomplices have “generated” black money worth Rs 565 crore from their global network till now, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed on Tuesday.

The central probe agency said it has filed a prosecution complaint or charge sheet against Jain and others under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before a special court here on October 28.

“The court has taken cognisance of the charge sheet on November 2 and has also issued non-bailable warrants against four absconding accused in this case,” it said in a statement.

Jain, 62, was arrested by the ED in September in a money laundering probe linked to dubious transactions worth over Rs 1 lakh crore made using over 550 shell firms over the last few years.

“Probe found that Jain along with his accomplices hatched a criminal conspiracy to forge and fabricate documents in order to cause loss to the government exchequer and banks by providing accommodation entries to the beneficiaries and indulging in illegal foreign exchange transactions,” the ED claimed.

“The total proceeds of crime generated by Jain and his accomplices in the form of commission on these hawala and domestic accommodation entry transactions detected till date is Rs 565 crore,” it said.

Hawala denotes to the illegal transfer of funds by skirting banking channels.

The ED alleged that in order to perpetrate these crimes “documents like identity proof, birth and education certificates, voter IDs, PAN cards and signatures were forged and fabricated to incorporate entities, for operating bank accounts, facilitating bogus, over-invoiced and under-invoiced import and export transactions and rotation of funds through web of shell companies.”

“This was done to cause undue benefit to the parties involved and loss to the government exchequer and bank,” it said.

Jain, it said, also facilitated parking of funds abroad by Indian nationals through his international hawala transaction structure created in India and in various other jurisdictions.

A maze of 554 shell or dubious firms, at least 940 suspect bank accounts and fund transfers of over Rs 1.07 lakh crore are under the scanner of the agency in this probe, touted to be one of the biggest hawala and trade-based money-laundering cases of the country.

Under the ED’s probe scanner are some “big corporates and a large foreign exchange company”, ED sources had earlier told PTI.

The agency is probing Jain and his associates as part of two money laundering cases that are based on a Delhi Police economic offences wing (EOW) FIR of 2018 and a criminal complaint of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), 2009.

Jain was arrested by the ED in December, 2009 in the PMLA case emerging from the NCB case.

Jain’s arrest in September was in connection with the Delhi Police EOW FIR filed on charges of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy that was registered on the basis of a complaint sent by the ED to it.

Jain has been under the scanner of probe agencies for long and in 2016, the ED had slapped a Rs 1,200-crore notice on him for alleged contravention of the forex law.

The latest action and charge sheet came about after ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra reviewed the case early this year and directed fresh investigation into this multi-crore hawala transactions racket, officials said.

The serious organised crime agency (SOCA) of the UK has also given a report on Jain and his associates” alleged money laundering activities to India in 2009 when he was based in Dubai.

Dubai Police had arrested him with nine others in February, 2007 on charges of similar crimes and he later got bail.

Agency officials had said that Jain fled from Dubai in 2009 and he had two Interpol-issued global arrest warrants against him at that time

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