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Chinese Hawala racket: Accused assumed Indian identity; operated over 40 bank accounts, reveals I-T probe

Accused was representing many Chinese firms for Hawala operations in India; with help of some employees at Bandhan Bank and ICICI Bank, he was infusing around Rs 3 crore through Hawala daily

Chinese Hawala racket: Accused assumed Indian identity; operated over 40 bank accounts, reveals I-T probe

I-T Department suspect scam could be well over Rs 1,000 crore /File Photo

In its probe against a Hawala racket being run by Chinese entities, Income Tax (I-T) Department officials have found that the suspect, Lou Sang, had changed his identity to Charlie Peng, an Indian national. He held an Indian passport and even an Aadhaar card and was married to a girl from Manipur. He got the passport issued from Manipur.

The Income Tax Department on Tuesday busted a Hawala racket perpetrated by a few Chinese individuals and their Indian associates. The initial probe revealed that Peng was representing many Chinese firms for hawala operations in India. With the help of some employees at Bandhan Bank and ICICI Bank, he was infusing around Rs 3 crore through Hawala daily. It was found that Sang operated over 40 bank accounts, created by various dummy entities, which received advances of thousands of crores from shell companies.

Meanwhile, department officials have also raided bank employees and premises of several Chinese companies, suspecting the scam to be well over Rs 1,000 crore.

The accused, who has been running this hawala racket for the past three years, kept on changing his addresses frequently. Earlier, he used to stay in Dwarka area of Delhi but his current address changed to DLF. His foreign hawala transactions also involve Hong Kong and US dollars.

The scam was unearthed after the I-T Department received credible information that a few Chinese individuals and their Indian associates were involved in money laundering and hawala transactions through a series of shell entities.

Following the tip-off, a search action was conducted at various premises of these Chinese entities, their close confederates, and a couple of bank employees. The I-T Department probe also found incriminating evidence against the active involvement of bank employees and chartered accountants. Further investigations are under progress. The accused was also arrested by Delhi Police in 2018 in connection with a hawala racket but was eventually let off by the court, India Today reported citing sources.

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