Two weeks after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted a Rs 1,000-crore hawala racket in Punjab,its sleuths recorded the statement of alleged hawala dealer Mukesh Singhania at Ludhiana unravelling a unique modus operandi of hawala operators. They claimed that Singhania has been helping nearly 50 businessmen to launder money using his hawala channel.
During his questioning,Singhania also claimed that he used to generate fake bills on behalf of Rajesh Dhanda,an exporter from Punjab who was raided by DRI. Singhania used to raise inflated bills for yarn but no goods were supplied. After raising the bills,the payments were made by Dhanda through cheques which were issued against the fake bills. Singhania then used to encash these cheques and after keeping a commission for himself paid the balance money to Dhanda, said a top DRI official in Ludhiana.
Singhania was using this modus operandi for more than 50 businessmen. In his statement,Singhania said,Paper transaction i.e. bills without goods is a normal practice in our trade as bills are delivered to some other party while goods to someone else. DRI officials claimed that Singhania used to perform transaction of Rs 1 crore every day and pocketed a sizeable amount as commission. The agency is also planning to examine other businessmen who took services of Singhania.
Meanwhile,the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also sought the details regarding the hawala racket. ED officials has sought the case details and bank details regarding the entire racket under prevention of money laundering (PMLA),said sources.
On July 4,the DRI busted the hawala racket in which Dhanda allegedly used inflated bills to misuse a duty drawback scheme run by the Union Ministry of Finance and gained incentives worth Rs 60 crore.
Dhanda,who runs several export firms in Ludhiana,was sending garments to the US and to Middle East countries by allegedly inflating the cost of the exported garments,said officials.