I-T raids on Chinese entities unearth Rs1,000-cr hawala racket

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Tuesday said search operations by the Income Tax Department has unearthed incriminating documents on hawala transactions and evidence of money laundering by some Chinese entities and their Indian associates.

The I-T Department raided at least two dozen premises in Delhi, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad, including premises of Chinese, their Indian associates and bank officials, the CBDT said in a statement issued late on Tuesday.
CBDT said these entities have created more than 40 bank accounts totaling over Rs1,000 crore in various dummy accounts, entering into credits of over the period as part of the money-laundering operation. 
"Incriminating documents of hawala transactions and money laundering with active involvement of bank employees and chartered accountants have been found as a result of the search action," it said.
Evidence of foreign hawala transactions involving Hong Kong and US dollars have also been unearthed, the CBDT said.
The searches were conducted on the basis of information that few Chinese individuals and their Indian associates were involved in money laundering and hawala transactions through series of shell entities. Searches were mounted at various premises of these Chinese entities, their close associates and bank employees, CBDT said.
Search action revealed that at the behest of Chinese individuals, more than 40 bank accounts were created in various dummy entities, entering into credits of more than Rs 1,000 crore over the period, the statement from CBDT added.
The Income Tax Department said a subsidiary of Chinese company and its related concerns have taken over Rs100 crore bogus advances from shell entities for opening businesses of retail showrooms in India.
Further, incriminating documents in respect of hawala transactions and laundering of money with the active involvement of bank employees and chartered accountants have been found as a result of search action. Evidence of foreign hawala transactions involving Hong Kong and US dollars have also been unearthed. Further investigations are under progress, the I-T department said. 
The development comes in the wake of hawala racket being operated by Gulf-based operatives from Kerala, following the seizure of gold smuggled into the country in the garb of diplomatic baggage.
A Chinese man, who allegedly holds a fake Indian passport, is alleged to be the kingpin of the racket apart from few other nationals of that country.