DRI to seek cus­tody of hawala dealer for smug­gling out for­eign cur­rency

Mohd Fa­rooq Part of Syn­di­cate That Used Bo­gus Do­cus: Of­fi­cials

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

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.

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