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Two hawala operators nabbed with foreign currency

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Bengaluru, has arrested two alleged hawala operators and seized foreign currency worth around Rs 1 crore from their possession.

Published: 08th October 2021 05:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th October 2021 05:41 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Bengaluru, has arrested two alleged hawala operators and seized foreign currency worth around Rs 1 crore from their possession.

According to informed sources, on credible inputs, the DRI  intercepted two Indian nationals at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) last weekend and seized foreign currency in US dollars, Dirhams and Euros wrapped in Malayalam newspapers and concealed in a mixer-grinder. The accused were on their way to Dubai, when they were arrested under Sections 104, 113, 135 of the Customs Act, 1962 read with Rule 7 of the Baggage Rules, 2016 for attempting to smuggle foreign currency.

Hawala, defined by the Interpol as transfer of money without its movement, is banned in India and is being investigated world over as a major source of terror and narco funding post 9/11. As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB), globally, criminals launder an estimated $2-3 trillion each year. Under hawala, funds are paid to an agent or hawaladar, who then instructs his remote associate to pay the amount to the final recipient. 

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating cases of terror funding through hawala route largely from Pakistan for extremist activities in Jammu & Kashmir. Around 40 cases of hawala and money-laundering are reportedly being investigated by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED).

The illicit exportation of foreign currency through any means such as hawala is prohibited in India under the Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015, read with Sections 2(33) and Sections 113 of the Customs Act in consonance with Rule 7 of the Baggage Rules 2016. An authorized dealer of foreign exchange (forex) is normally a bank specifically authorized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under Section 10(1) of FEMA,1999, to deal in forex or foreign securities.



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