BoB money laundering case: ED sends LRs to HK, Dubai


Widening its probe in the Rs 6,000-crore suspicious forex transactions case at a Bank of Baroda (BoB) branch here, the ED has sent judicial requests to Hong Kong and Dubai seeking details of funds, accounts and operators who allegedly perpetrated the fraud. Officials said the agency recently dispatched the Letters Rogatory (LRs) issued from a local court here, as its probe found that alleged illegal remittances were sent to these two locations. The agency, they said, is hopeful of getting vital leads in the case after receiving a reply from their counterparts. A total of seven people have been arrested in this case by the ED, even as the CBI and the Income Tax department are also investigating it. The agency, which registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), has termed this case to be an incident of trade-based money laundering, where accused traders evade custom duties and taxes to generate slush funds. Some of those arrested in the case were said to be alleged middlemen for at least 15 fake companies, out of the total 59 which were involved in perpetrating the economic crime unearthed in October, 2015. It had said some traders allegedly connived with each other in “forming” fake companies and business entities in Hong Kong by “over valuing” the export value and subsequently claiming duty drawbacks. CBI had also arrested BoB AGM S K Garg and Jainish Dubey, who headed the foreign exchange division at its Ashok Vihar branch here, under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act and also filed a charge sheet against them. ED is now investigating the activities of another suspected 44 fake firms which pumped money to overseas locations in a similar manner.