Hire children, face money laundering charges

People employing child labour will now also face an inquiry for money laundering besides being tried under the Child Labour Act, reports Manish Pachouly.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2009 01:15 IST
Manish Pachouly
Manish Pachouly
Hindustan Times

People employing child labour will now also face an inquiry for money laundering besides being tried under the Child Labour Act.

This has become possible following a recent amendment in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The amendment that has come into force from March 6 and published in the Gazette of India has widened the scope of investigation under the Act.

Officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), who investigate cases of money laundering, said the earnings made by employers deploying child labour would be treated as proceeds of crime and be investigated from the money-laundering angle.

People indulging in insider trading in the stock market will also face a probe under the Act. “This is because the offences under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act have also been added to the list of scheduled offences in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,” an ED official said.

Violators of the Copyright Act would also find themselves marked by ED officials, who would minutely scrutinise the use of the earnings made from the crime. “Proceeds of any crime are transferred illegally to another person or destination,” the official said.

Officials said the ED would get into picture once a person is named in the First Information Report for an offence. “If that crime is mentioned in the scheduled offences list of the Act, we would come into the picture,” the official said.

However, the department would have to coordinate with the police or any other agency that registers the case to go ahead with its investigation.

Officials said the amendment is bad news especially for those indirectly part of any crime and who manage to walk free from the clutches of the primary investigating agency for lack of evidence. “One such group would be buyers of stolen property,” the ED official said. He said that anyone dishonestly receiving stolen property could be now tried under the Money Laundering Act. Officials said that under this Act, movement of every rupee earned is probed and the money trail was not easy to hide.

Hunting of wild animals, various duty evasions, smuggling of human organs and using a forged passport would now also be investigated by from the money laundering angle.

First Published: Mar 28, 2009 01:14 IST