Saradha used hawala route to siphon crores: officer

  • Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Apr 28, 2014 09:47 IST

The tainted Saradha Group had been violating provisions of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) and making use of the hawala route to channelise over Rs 200 crore, investigations revealed.

Findings revealed that a TMC Rajya Sabha member played a key role in such illegal fund transfers conducted by the group. The MP has already received a notice from the enforcement directorate (ED) for questioning by a team of the serious fraud investigation office (SFIO), the investigation arm of the Union corporate affairs ministry.

As per the SFIO findings, close to Rs 120 crore was routed through wired transfers to different destinations in West Asia, South-East Asia and USA.

“In such transfers, the concerned bank officials or agents did not comply with the RBI rule wherein in case of cross-border wire transfers, records has be maintained in case of transfers of Rs 5,00,000 or above in foreign currency,” said an SFIO.

Meanwhile, ED findings have revealed the funds were first routed from Saradha accounts in West Bengal to the accounts of different agencies in other states like Orissa, Jharkhand, Assam, Delhi and Bihar among others. And then the same amount was routed back to other accounts held by the group in West Bengal.

The ED has also brought under its scanner three leaders of CPI (M) for questioning in the Saradha group scam “to obtain their side of information” in the case.

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