NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided multiple locations in Delhi and Mumbai in connection with a Rs 700 crore Dubai-linked hawala trade racket and seized Rs 29 lakh cash and a number of documents, the agency said Tuesday.
The searches, that began yesterday at 11 locations in the two metro cities, ended today, it said.
The raids, it said, were linked to the businesses and alleged illegal financial transactions linked to a Dubai-based hawala operator Pankaj Kapur.
He is already being probed by the central probe agency in a hawala case to the tune of Rs 3,700 crore.
"Preliminary enquiry revealed that hawala transactions are being carried by one of his (Kapur's) Indian company-- Ms Radhika Gems Pvt Ltd -- by collecting money in cash in India and transferring the same to the companies abroad against the payment of import of diamonds.
"These overseas companies have been prima facie found to be owned and controlled by Pankaj Kapur only," the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement.
It said searches were also conducted at the offices of two Chartered Accountants and a custom house agent (CHA) who helped Kapur in creating web of shell firms/companies, managing the books of accounts and filing import documents with the Customs department.
"Kapur has used over 50 firms/companies to channelise the money collected in cash from various persons in India for transferring the same aboard," it said.
During the raids, Rs 29.19 lakh cash and incriminating documents which includes electronic gadgets, diaries having record of hawala transactions and stamps of more than 150 shell firms were found and seized, it said.
The name hawala is used to identify the use of illegal means and skirting the banking channels to route and launder huge amounts of money within the country as well as abroad.
The ED probes such cases under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Further probe in the case is underway, the ED said.