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ED Arrests 2 Persons in Bihar in 2016 PMLA Case Linked to Hawala Transactions

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

The duo is alleged to have carried out hawala transactions by misusing banking channels post the notes ban of 2016. PM Narendra Modi had declared demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes on November 8, 2016.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said it has arrested two persons in Bihar under the anti-money laundering law linked to a case of alleged hawala transactions done post-demonetisation. It said Raj Kumar Goenka and Pankaj Agrawal were arrested under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on September 22 and they were produced before a special court in the state which sent them to judicial custody.

"Raj Kumar Goenka and Ashok Kumar Goenka of Muzaffarpur fraudulently and dishonestly got opened several bank accounts by misusing photographs and documents of their employees. "These accounts were utilised for huge cash deposits without the knowledge of the account holders," the ED said in a statement.

The duo are alleged to have done hawala transactions by misusing banking channels post the notes ban of 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes on November 8, 2016.

The cash deposits, the ED said, were transferred by RTGS/NEFT to the bank accounts of the associates of the accused located in various cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai among others. The ED registered the PMLA case against the accused on the basis of a December, 2016 police FIR filed in the Mithanpura police station of Muzaffarpur district.

The ED said it later searched the premises of Pankaj Agrawal in Kolkata and seized documents relating to shell firms "controlled" by him. "Agrawal was facilitating money laundering at Kolkata in collusion with Raj Kumar Goenka at Muzaffarpur. Agrawal and Raj Kumar Goenka have also made huge investment in movable and immovable properties that are held in their names, in the names of their family members and in the name of companies controlled by them," the ED alleged.


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