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DRI unearths over Rs 1,000 crore hawala racket in Ludhiana

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - 23:50

New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has claimed to have found a hawala racket in Ludhiana, Punjab, allegedly involving laundering of at least Rs 1,000 crore through different channels.

The exposure came while following a scam by a Ludhiana-based exporter who has allegedly fraudulently used inflated bills to misuse a duty drawback scheme run by the Union Finance Ministry and gained incentives worth Rs 60 crore.

Acting on intelligence inputs, the Delhi zonal unit of DRI found that the businessman was allegedly fraudulently using "fake inflated bills" to get incentives of the drawback scheme while exporting "sub-standard" readymade garments, sources said.

They said the exporter, who runs several export firms in Ludhiana, was sending garments to the United States (US) and Middle East countries by allegedly inflating the cost of the exported garments.

Further investigation in the case showed the businessman was provided these bills by a Ludhiana-based person Mukesh Singh Singhania, an alleged hawala operator.

"Initial investigation shows that Singhania has allegedly laundered over Rs 1,000 crore through different channels. He was also helping the exporter in routing his illegal money from foreign countries to India through inflated bills," the sources claimed.

Searches were conducted at over 10 places in Delhi and Punjab and many documents were ]seized, said DRI sources.

DRI is scrutinising exports transactions through three firms of the exporter to ascertain the exact amount involved in the alleged fraud.

The government`s duty drawback scheme provides rebate on duty chargeable on any imported materials or excisable material used in manufacture or processing of goods manufactured in India and exported.

An exporter gets value-based incentives while availing grants through the scheme which is aimed at promoting exports.

DRI officials have also seized consignments of the exporter`s companies in Delhi containing allegedly sub-standard material.

They said the case may be referred to Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe alleged money laundering.

A DRI official said the alleged scam has international ramification and it is examining the role of others people who might have been involved in the case.


First Published: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - 23:49

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