`2 hawala syndicates for Rs 325 cr illegal transactions booked`
New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has booked a case against two hawala syndicates engaged in transferring illegal remittances to the tune of Rs 325 crore during the last three years, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Friday.
"One case has been booked during the last three years by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence against two hawala syndicates engaged in transferring illegal remittances towards payment of under invoiced import consignments using banking channels in the name of bogus firms," Chidambaram said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
On the modus operandi adopted by the syndicates, Chidambaram said they submitted bogus import proforma invoices in order to remit advance payments against imports to be made at a later date, but no such imports were made by them.
"The amount involved in such illegal remittances was to the tune of Rs 325 crore," he said, adding that action was being taken under the provisions of Customs Act, 1962 and Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.
Regarding the measures being adopted by the government to check such fraudulent banking transactions in the country, Chidambaram said standard Red Flag Indicators (RFIs) reported by banks are analysed and disseminated to the relevant law enforcement and intelligence agencies for investigation and necessary action.
Besides, in respect of unauthorised transfer of funds involving persons residing outside India and within the country, the Customs Department, banks and other law enforcement agencies report such violations to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for investigation under FEMA and PMLA.
The ED takes appropriate action including adjudication, imposition of penalty and attachment or confiscation of the proceeds of crime as the case may be, under relevant provisions of FEMA and PMLA respectively, Chidambaram said.
Moreover, the Income Tax department brings income arising out of such fraudulent banking transactions also under purview of I-T Act, 1961.
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