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ED busts international hawala racket of Rs 300 cr; detains 5

Detained Kerala residents were involved in high-volume international hawala operations

New Delhi, Sep 5, 2023- The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday detained five persons under the provisions of the COFEPOSA Act for running an international hawala racket of more than Rs 300 crore,

The detained persons have been identified as V.S. Suresh Babu, A.K. Shaji alias Payasam Shaji, Mohammed Shibu, Mohammed Shiju, and Siraj V. Essakhan, all residents of Kerala.

The ED case is based on the investigation establishing that these persons were involved in high-volume international hawala operations for the past many years in contravention of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), running into more than Rs 300 crore.

The ED had on June 19 conducted raids at 14 locations in Kerala as part of its investigation into hawala operators in in the state.

The raids were conducted against entities who were allegedly undertaking hawala transactions in the guise of forex exchange, gifts shops, jewellery shops and readymade garment shops, etc.

During the searches, assorted foreign currencies from more than 15 countries and Rs 4 crore in Indian currency were seized. It was established that the suspects were indulging in illegal forex dealings without KYC or issuing bills. (Agency)

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