‘Hawala’ racket: 700 entities under ED scanner

About 700 entities which had taken the assistance of a ‘hawala’ racket allegedly operated by Naresh Jain and his associates are under the Enforcement Directorate’s scanner for suspected laundering of undisclosed income running into thousands of crores.

The entities, most of which are into various business activities, allegedly paid commissions to the syndicate to rotate funds and also send the money overseas using hundreds of shell companies. The agency has so far detected ₹565 crore received by Naresh Jain and others as commissions, as alleged.

The syndicate had rotated more than ₹96,000 crore in India and facilitated the transfer of about ₹11,800 crore abroad. The shell companies used for routing the funds were opened using forged identification papers and signatures. They would provide bogus, over/under invoiced import and export transactions, besides accommodation entries.

Naresh Jain was arrested by the ED in September last year. Based on its findings, the agency has already filed a chargesheet against some of the accused and also attached assets worth ₹65.75 crore. The attached properties are located in Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Other assets linked to the case are also being identified for further action.

The main accused was once investigated by the law-enforcement agencies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S. In 2009, the U.K.’s Serious and Organised Crime Agency had shared a report with its Indian counterparts involving his alleged activities.

Naresh Jain allegedly operated from the UAE for about 14 years. In April 2007, he was arrested by the Dubai police along with nine others in a joint international operation. He later jumped bail and escaped to India via Nepal in May 2009, as alleged.

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