The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has asked the passport authorities to impound the passport of non-resident Indian (NRI) businessman Naresh Chandra Jain, who was booked recently for running one of the largest hawala networks in the world.
Also, the directorate approached some of the 30-odd foreign countries, where Jain had set up his bases to launder more than Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) so far, an ED official, requesting anonymity, said.
The government is also considering the US Department of Homeland Security’s request for a role in the hawala racket probe.
The directorate, which investigates violation of foreign exchange norms, will probe how Jain and his associates transferred some Indian politicians and industrialists’ money to countries such as the UK, Canada, Dubai and Turkey.
Hawala is an illegal global banking system, which organises transfer of money across borders, bypassing all the established exchange laws and procedures.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Delhi Police and various security agencies will join the investigation after being informed about last week’s seizure of documents from eight premises owned by Jain.