The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has conducted raids at the office premises of four private firms and residential premises of their directors and associates at Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Jalandhar and Delhi in a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) case.
The agency conducted searches on Wednesday. The firms raided include Paul Merchants Ltd, Quick Forex Ltd, Supama Forex Pvt Ltd and Curo India Pvt Ltd, an Enforcement Directorate officer told ANI.
The searches have resulted in the seizure of Indian and foreign currency worth Rs 3.88 crore and bullion worth Rs 24.2 lakh. The Enforcement Directorate has also seized incriminating documents, laptops, mobile phones and property documents.
The ED initiated investigation under FEMA on the basis of credible information, said the officer.
The investigation has revealed that the four entities sent outward remittances over Rs 475 crore to Singapore, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on behalf of shell or dummy firms, namely Triple Streak Dream Holidays, Wangester Travels Pvt Ltd, Peripatizo Travels Pvt Ltd, Himalaya Tourism, Ezax Holidays and Great Journey Tours.
As per the agency, these shell or dummy entities used fake identities of various persons for making outward remittances in the guise of purported travel transactions which resulted in the generation of unauthorised Hawala money.
"Investigation further revealed that illegal money so generated has been invested in real estate and other businesses of their associated companies or entities," said the ED.
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