New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate busted a hawala racket and recovered cash and bullion worth over Rs 4 crore from private firms primarily dealing in tourism services.
The agency conducted a search operation at the office premises of four firms - Paul Merchants, Quick Forex, Supama Forex and Curo India - and its associates at Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Jalandhar and Delhi.
“ED search has resulted in seizure of Indian and Foreign currency worth Rs. 3.88 crore and bullion worth Rs. 24.2 lakh. ED has also seized incriminating documents, Laptops, Mobile phones and property documents,” the agency said in a statement.
It initiated an investigation under the Foreign Exchange Management Act on the basis of specific information.
“During the course of investigation, it is revealed that the said entities have sent outward remittances over Rs. 475 Crore to Singapore, Hong Kong and UAE on behalf of shell entities namely M/s. Triple Streak Dream Holidays, M/s. Wangester Travels Pvt. Ltd; M/s. Peripatizo Travels Pvt. Ltd; M/s. Himalaya Tourism, M/s. Ezax Holidays, M/s. Great Journey Tours etc.,” said ED.
The agency further alleged that these dummy entities used “fake IDs of various persons for making outward remittances in the guise of purported travel transactions which resulted into generation of unauthorized (Hawala) money”.
The ED further said that the illegal money generated was invested in real estate and other businesses of the associated companies of the accused.