ED arrests two Chinese nationals on money laundering charge

One of the arrested came under the Income-Tax Department’s scanner in August last year for running a ‘hawala’ racket using shell companies.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested two Chinese nationals on money laundering charge. They are currently in the agency’s custody.

The accused have been identified as Luo Sang and Carter Lee. Sang had come under the Income-Tax Department’s scanner in August last year for running a ‘hawala’ racket using shell companies.

Based on the findings, the ED also launched investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The I-T Department had detected the racket allegedly involving Chinese companies that used shell entities for ‘hawala’ operations in India. Searches were then carried out on the premises of suspects in Delhi, Gurugram and Ghaziabad.

The department zeroed in on Sang, who had been living under a pseudonym, Charlie Peng. The accused held a fraudulently obtained Indian passport purportedly issued from Manipur.

According to the agency, Sang used about 10 bank accounts opened in fictitious names to route funds. He represented several Chinese companies in India for ‘hawala’ operations.

“Based on the credible information that some Chinese individuals and their Indian associates were involved in money laundering and ‘hawala’ transactions through series of shell entities, a search action was mounted on various premises of these Chinese entities, their close confederates and couple of bank employees,” the Department had said.

Initial probe revealed that at the instance of Chinese individuals, over 40 bank accounts were set up for various dummy entities, entering into credits of more than ₹1,000 crore over a period of time.

“A subsidiary of Chinese company and its related concerns have taken over ₹100 crore bogus advances from shell entities for opening businesses of retail showrooms in India,” the department had said, adding that the role of some bank officials and chartered accountants was also being investigated.

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