CHANDIGARH: The Investigation Wing of Income Tax (North West Region) unearthed a hawala racket of more than Rs 1000 crore in the small town of Charkhi Dadri in Haryana since demonetisation. Additionally, undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 283 crore was also seized in the region.
Director general (investigations) of Income Tax (North West Region) Madhu Mahajan said that numerous hawala accommodation entry operators have stepped up their operations in the region post demonetisation. These rackets take cash and enable money to move from one bank to another on a real time and gross basis for a commission. Also, to launder the unaccounted cash, Benami accounts were opened by the gangs.
“In one interesting case of Charkhi Dadri in Haryana, more than Rs 1000 crore was found to be laundered and of this over Rs 100 crore may belong to the people of Punjab. A man in his thirties had printed a few letter pads of ‘fake’ companies and he, along with his associates opened several bank accounts in various branches of both nationalised and private banks across the country to facilitate these illegal operations,’’ she said.
Describing the modus operandi, principal director of Income Tax (investigation) Parneet Singh Sachdev said, “The people who were affected by the demonetisation move of the government got in touch with him to convert their black money into white for about 20 percent commission. The money used to be deposited in various bank accounts, which is not possible without the connivance of bank officials and then money was transferred through RTGC from one account to the other so that it could not be detected. Finally, the original owner received the money in his or her account.’’
“People have also taken loans from him in order to convert their black income into white. He had also given fake bills of various purchases so that the money could be accounted for. Already, more than 18 beneficiaries have been detected. His account which had more Rs 10 crore at the time of his arrest was sealed immediately. Also, we have updated CBI and Enforcement Directorate regarding this case,’’ he said.
Madhu Mahajan said undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 283 crore was also detected in the region during the last fifteen surveys.
“Till date, 63 cases have been referred to the Enforcement Directorate. We found that some banks, especially cooperative banks were not following the standard operation procedures of RBI, as accounts were not properly maintained. We have seized cash of more than Rs. 2.5 crore from cooperative banks and helper companies. Helper companies are those which are entrusted with carrying cash to ATMs.”