Surat Diamond Hawala Case: ED to Send LRs to Middle-East, Hong Kong - The New Indian Express

Surat Diamond Hawala Case: ED to Send LRs to Middle-East, Hong Kong

Published: 18th May 2014 10:56 AM

Last Updated: 18th May 2014 10:56 AM

NEW DELHI: Enforcement Directorate (ED) will soon approach Middle-East countries and Hong Kong for obtaining details of illegal payments made overseas in connection with the Rs 700 crore Surat diamonds Hawala case.

The agency, sources said, has tracked the trail of money to a few locations and banking channels in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai, Hong Kong and China in connection with the high-profile case that was unearthed by the agency in the popular diamond town of Gujarat sometime back.

"Letters Rogatory (judicial requests) will be sent to a few countries in the Middle-East to get the exact details of the illegal transactions. A competent court will soon be approached seeking permission in this regard," an official privy to the development said.

The agency has detected some funds which have been sent through illegal banking channels to Hong Kong and China and legal replies from these countries would be obtained to take the probe further, officials said.

The role of a large private bank, located in Surat and Mumbai, is also under the scanner of the agency as sleuths detected large amounts of international payments were being dispatched from its portals without proper Know Your Customer (KYC) checks being done, sources said.

The central probe agency has brought under its scanner a number of businessman, including Afroz Fatta, regarding its probe under money laundering laws in this case.

ED is also probing the Hawala dealings (transfer of money through illegal banking channels) in this particular case under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The agency's zonal office in Surat, in March, had claimed to have busted a Hawala racket to the tune of Rs 700 crore during searches at the offices of some diamond traders in this city. .

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