New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday arrested 4 people in connection with Rs 6,000 crore forex scam. These include 2 exporters and 2 middlemen. One of the persons arrested is an HDFC bank employee. All four have been sent to police custody.
Calling it a case of trade-based money laundering, where accused traders evade custom duties and taxes to generate slush funds, the agency arrested Kamal Kalra, working with the foreign exchange division of HDFC bank, Chandan Bhatia, Gurucharan Singh Dhawan and Sanjay Aggarwal after marathon questioning at its office here.
Emails sent to HDFC bank for its reaction did not elicit a response.
All the accused, ED sources said, were alleged middlemen for at least 15 fake companies, out of the total 59 which were involved in the perpetrating of the economic crime unearthed recently and also being probed by the CBI.
“ During the course of investigation the addresses of 59 companies used for money laundering in this case were verified and it was found that most of the companies are not existing at these addresses,” Enforcement Directorate release said.
“The interrogation of bank officials revealed the information of some of the coordinators / middle men for these companies. One such coordinator / middle man, Mr. Kamal Kalra handled around 12 companies. Mr. Kamal Kalra during his interrogation stated that he himself works in Forex Department of HDFC bank. He further stated that he has been helping Shri Chandan Bhatia and Shri Sanjay Aggarwal for remitting the amount through Bank of Baroda. He used to get his commission @ 30-50 paise per dollar remitted abroad.
“Chandan Bhatia was instrumental in forming the companies in India which used to remit money to the Companies based in Hongkong. He was also instrumental in forming Companies at Hongkong. Chandan Bhatia during his interrogation revealed that he was working in tandem with exporter Gurucharan Singh and he himself was also indulging in exports from his companies. In all he has so far revealed that he had sent foreign remittances to the tune of Rs.420 Crores.
“Gurucharan Singh is the exporter of finished goods like readymade garments, fabric etc. and used to get the duty draw back on the exports made from his firm Dhawan Creative Prints Pvt. Ltd., CK Clothing, JS Hosiery. He was the main person since he used to get the draw back on the exported goods on the basis of overvalued exports. This amount of draw back received from the Govt. was used to distribute commission at various stages,” the release added.