KOCHI: Intensifying its crackdown on money laundering, the Income Tax (IT) Department raided three agencies in Kochi suspected of assisting business firms to send and receive money through hawala channels.
The raid was carried out on Thursday evening following a tip-off received during the probe against black money and tax evasion by a business group in the state.
Although I-T officers are tight-lipped, Express has learnt these agencies were involved in financial deals like money exchange. “During the probe carried out against black money and tax evasion by a business group, the involvement of three agencies in Kochi facilitating hawala transaction was revealed," an I-T officer said.
“These agencies helped business groups send money abroad and to other states in the country.” Since there are possibilities of more agencies being involved in the illicit dealings, I-T officers have refused to disclose the names of the agencies. “During the raid, we recovered a number of documents.
We have to collect information about business firms sending money abroad through hawala channels. It will be revealed in a further probe,” the officer said.
Hawala agents in Kochi were exposed during the probe carried out by Delhi Police into the Election Commission bribery bid involving T T V Dinakaran of AIADMK.
I-T and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are also probing the role of hawala agents from the city. In the nursing recruitment case probed by I-T, ED and CBI, it was revealed around Rs 100 crore was sent to Gulf countries .