The income tax department’s search at the offices of financiers and courier service providers at RNT Marg in Indore on June 2-3 has revealed that hawala operations are not confined to Sarafa or Jail Road but are spread across the city and its outskirts.
“Hawala operations continue on a big and small scale in the city,” an I-T department official said wishing anonymity.
Those who operate on a small scale have spread across Indore and use small businesses as cover to conduct illegal money transactions, which remain unnoticed as the I-T department and police focus on bigger financial crimes.
Hawala is a parallel remittance system that works outside banks with a network of operators called hawala dealers. A hawala transaction does not involve physical movement of cash. A person willing to transfer money contacts a hawala operator who collects the money. The operator then contacts his counterpart at the destination place. The latter hands over the cash to the recipient after charging a commission.
The search at Shrivardhan Complex at RNT Marg from where Rs 1.50 crore was seized from four financiers and courier service providers proved for the first time how small businesses were used as cover to run hawala at a commercial centre situated at a stone’s throw from the DIG (police) office.
“It is a lesson as well as proof of small-scale hawala operations,” the official said.
The I-T department’s investigation wing normally conducts searches where it expects to recover unaccounted income running into crores of rupees. However, last week’s search follows the department’s move to unearth hawala operations across the country irrespective of their scale.
A multi-crore hawala racket, which I-T sleuths busted during a search in Katni on March 21, showed that people involved in it had network in Indore, Gwalior, Delhi, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Kochi, among other big cities. They used more than 111 bank accounts through which they used to provide entry to convert black money into white money.
Rs 1.50 crore seized from four financiers and courier service providers proved how small businesses were used as cover to run hawala
A multi-crore hawala racket busted in Katni showed that people involved in illegal transactions in big cities
Hawala is a parallel remittance system that works outside banks with a network of operators.