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ED arrests two persons in Bihar in PMLA case linked to hawala transactions

ANI | Updated: Sep 24, 2020 04:19 IST

New Delhi [India], September 24 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested two persons in Bihar under the anti-money laundering law linked to a case of alleged hawala transactions done post-demonetisation.

According to a statement issued by the ED, Raj Kumar Goenka and Pankaj Agrawal were arrested under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on September 22 and they were produced before a special court in the state which sent them to judicial custody.
"Raj Kumar Goenka and Ashok Kumar Goenka of Muzaffarpur fraudulently and dishonestly got opened several bank accounts by misusing photographs and documents of their employees. These accounts were utilised for huge cash deposits without the knowledge of the account holders," the ED said in a statement.
The duo is alleged to have done hawala transactions by misusing banking channels post the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.

"These cash deposits in the accounts were transferred by way of RTGS/NIFT to the bank accounts of their associates located in various cities viz, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, etc. These persons used to receive cash against cheque from various entities and the cash so received used to be given to the person/entity, on behalf of whom, cash was received by Goenka Brothers in Muzaffarpur," ED said in a release.
On the basis of an FIR dated December 22, 2016, registered with Mithanpura Police Station in Muzaffarpur, Bihar for the offence punishable under section 120B, 420, 467 & 471 of IPC, ED initiated an investigation against Goenka and others.
Investigation under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) revealed that proceeds of crime totalling to Rs 25.80 crores which were deposited in these bank accounts and were subsequently dishonestly transferred and layered through various bank accounts with an intention to launder the tainted money to project the same as untainted. Provisional attachment order dated December 4, 2019, was issued attaching POC worth Rs 4.61 crores.
A search was conducted at Kolkata on the premises of Agrawal and it was revealed that he was facilitating the money laundering at Kolkata in collusion with Goenka at Muzaffarpur. The duo "made a huge investment in immovable properties and movable properties held in their own name, in the name of their family members and in the name of companies controlled by them".
Both the accused have been arrested and produced before Special Court, PMLA. They have been sent to judicial custody and their ED custody for custodial interrogation is being sought.
Further investigation is under progress. (ANI)