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Demonetization: I-T dept unearths black money racket of over Rs 1,550 crore

The Income Tax department on Monday said it has unearthed a black money racket of over Rs 1,550 crore and a maze of shell firms and entities, perpetrated by entry operators and hawala dealers in the wake of demonetization.

An analysis report prepared by the department, also accessed by PTI, said this particular black money generation modus operandi is led by a group of hawala dealers in the national capital who illegally routed funds worth Rs 930 crore post November 8. In another case in Delhi, the taxman detected entry operators trying to launder Rs 200 crore stash funds using 80 accounts.

“Similarly, in a bank branch in Noida, investigations are on into deposits in more than 100 bank accounts that were used to laundering more than Rs 200 crore,” the report said. The tax department’s action on such entry operators or hawala dealers in cities like Kolkata, Gurgaon, Charkhi Dadri and Chitradurga in Karnataka led the taxman unearthing laundering of cash to the tune of Rs 200 crore. A case in Bihar’s Gaya was similarly detected, the report said, where a person was allegedly trying to laundering Rs 13 crore of a Delhi-based entity. The taxman put freeze orders on two bank accounts used for this purpose in Gaya, it said.

They added that the total amount involved in these prominent cases is over Rs 1,550 crore even as many more cases are still in the probe process. “The modus operandi followed is the same across the country. Cash is deposited in bank accounts of paper companies or accounts fraudulently and immediately transferred through RTGS to other similar fraudulent accounts.

“After transferring the money through multiple layers, it is withdrawn from the bank system as cash, demand drafts or converted into bullion. No trail of the actual beneficiary is seemingly left,” it added. The report said, however, with the funds coming into the banking system, the department could detect these cases easily based on the risk-based analysis done by the I-T in such cases. “Once the money is in the banking system, the department is now probing its colour, whether black or white,” a senior official said.