‘Hawala king’ with terror links charged
Naresh Chandra Jain, an NRI businessman, has been charged with running a hawala racket worth an estimated Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion), said the enforcement directorate on Friday. Manish Tiwari reports.delhi Updated: Sep 26, 2009 02:34 IST
Naresh Chandra Jain, an NRI businessman, has been charged with running a hawala racket worth an estimated Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion), said the enforcement directorate on Friday.
The directorate, which investigates currency crimes, said it was also investigating Jain for links with the underworld and the terrorist group al-Qaeda.
“Jain is on the watchlist of the US department for homeland security and UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency for terror funding,” said an officer, who refused to be identified.
The directorate has registered a case against Jain — described by one officer as the “world’s undisputed hawala king” — on charges of Foreign Management Act violations.
“Investigations have revealed Jain is involved in large-scale money transfers for nationals not only from India but also Hong Kong, Dubai, Nigeria, and Congo,” said the directorate’s Deputy Director Prabhakant.
Hawala is an illegal global banking system transferring money across countries primarily on trust and word-of-mouth recommendations.
The directorate also said it had questioned Jain at least 10 times over the last seven days. But he is now missing.
His brothers — Bimal Jain and Satpal Jain — are also being investigated. None of the three was available for comment.
Jain ran his hawala network from Dubai for 20 years, with branches in Nigeria, Italy, Afghanistan, China, Bolivia and Congo, said the directorate. He was once arrested in Dubai. He moved to Delhi six months ago.
The directorate raided eight premises owned by Jain in the city on Thursday and seized Rs 60 lakh (Rs 6 million) cash and incriminating documents.