‘Hawala operator’ arrested in Rs2,253-crore remittance scam in Mumbaimumbai Updated: Apr 25, 2018 16:15 IST
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested a suspected hawala operator in connection with foreign remittances worth Rs 2252.82 crore and involving 13 companies. On Monday, the agency arrested Mohammed Farooq, 39, from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The ED said 13 companies remitted approximately Rs2,252 crore funds to overseas destinations by submitting non-existent and forged import documents to banks during 2015-16. According to the agency, the actual bills of entry amount to only Rs 24 crore while the amount remitted outside the country is Rs2,252 crore. As per the allegations, payments were made towards non-existent and fake imports and false import bills were submitted to banks. A bill of entry is a declaration by an importer or exporter of the nature, quantity and value of goods that have landed or have been shipped out.
Farooq has been arrested because the ED believes he was using three mobile numbers that the agency found while scrutinising 149 bank accounts for this case. The ED prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar said, “He [Farooq] is most likely privy to various confidential information, which will help in unravelling the truth behind the said scam.” However, Farooq has not cooperated with the authorities so far and has denied any links with the 13 companies being investigated. Farooq has been sent to custody till April 26.