DRI to seek custody of hawala dealer for smuggling out foreign currency
Mohd Farooq Part of Syndicate That Used Bogus Docus: Officials
Mumbai: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) will seek the custody of hawala dealer Mohammad Farooq in a case of smuggling of foreign currency, obtained fraudulently on the basis of fabricated documents showing imports and exports totalling Rs180 crore, out of the country.
Farooq is presently in the custody of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case of money laundering. DRI officials said that a syndicate comprising Farooq was involved in the smuggling of foreign currency obtained fraudulently on the basis of bogus documents.
These operators fraudulently obtained foreign currency from the Full Fledged Money Changer (FFMC) registered with the RBI, by making applications for obtaining foreign currency or Forex Travel Card for the purported business visit of certain persons in the garb of employees of their bogus dummy companies. For this they submitted photocopies of their passports and forged travel documents. “Investigations conducted so far have revealed that these persons, in whose name those Forex cards and foreign currency were obtained by showing them as their employees, had either never travelled abroad nor were they in any way associated with the said companies,” an official said.
According to RBI regulations, a resident individual can avail of foreign exchange of 2.5 lakh US dollars in a financial year in cash or by way of an international forex card for a business visit abroad. Visits by individuals in connection with attending of an international conference, seminar or for specialised training, apprentice training and the like are treated as business visits. Similar- ly, resident Indian citizens are also eligible under the scheme of basic travel quota to avail of foreign exchange up to 3,000 US dollars for undertaking one private visit to any country abroad (except Nepal and Bhutan) in any calendar year.
The ED has accused Farooq of money laundering. In 2015-16, the ED has said, Farooq created fake companies and indulged in money laundering through fraudulent imports of goods and diverted over Rs2,000 crore. The CBI also registered a case as it suspected the role of bank officials in the scam.