Enforcement Directorate seizes Rs 4-crore worth of cash, bullion after raids on hawala operators



NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said it seized over Rs 4 crore worth of Indian and foreign currency and bullion in recent multi-city raids against Hawala operators based in north India.

The searches were carried out under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act against directors and associates of Paul Merchants Ltd, Quick Forex Ltd, Supama Forex Pvt Ltd and Curo India Pvt Ltd in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Jalandhar and Delhi, the agency said in a statement.

These “entities sent outward remittances of over Rs 475 crore to Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE on behalf of shell or dummy entities like Triple Streak Dream Holidays, Wangester Travels Pvt Ltd, Peripatizo Travels Pvt Ltd, Himalaya Tourism, Ezax Holidays, and Great Journey Tours etc”, it said These shell entities, the ED alleged, used “fake IDs of various persons for making outward remittances in guise of purported travel transactions which resulted into generation of unauthorised (Hawala) money”.

It claimed that this “illegal money has been invested in real estate and other businesses of their associated companies/entities”.

The action resulted in the seizure of Rs 3.88 crore worth Indian and foreign currency and bullion of Rs 24.2 lakh. “The ED has also seized incriminating documents, laptops, mobile phones and property documents,” it said.

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