ED busts money laundering ring linked to human hair smuggling to Chinatext_fields
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday busted a hawala and money laundering racket linked to the smuggling of raw human hair from India to China via Mizoram.
According to a press release, the ED conducted a raid under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)-2002 at multiple locations spread from Hyderabad to Aizwal and further up to the Myanmar border town of Champai in Mizoram.
The central agency has conducted searches across the country in the case and frozen 139 bank accounts, apart from recovering Rs 1.2 crore in cash.
According to ED, the large part of cash generated was used for making illegal compensatory payments through unauthorised channels for smuggled hair & under-valued exports of human hair from entities spread across India.
The federal probe agency said it stumbled across the alleged illegal cross-border trade after it came across large hawala payments to local hair traders in the fund trail investigation of online Chinese betting mobile applications.
Subsequently, based on the ED's complaint, CCS Hyderabad Police registered a fresh FIR under various Sections of the IPC Act, 1860.
The sale proceeds, to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees in cash which were later being remitted to several merchants across the country, were found with M/s. St. Mary's Gem Industries and M/s. Sun Moon Human Hair of Champai town in Mizoram and M/s. Thari Enterprises in Aizwal, the ED said in a release on Monday.
As per ED's statement, large scale domestic sales of raw human hair was taking place from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to Guwahati and Kolkata.
According to the ED, one Lucas Thangmangliana (resident of Champhai district) is the chief facilitator of this mammoth hawala operation.
ED has also seized various incriminating documents, handwritten diaries, digital devices & also recovered cash of Rs 1.20 Crore.
The agency also identified various suspicious Bank A/cs which were being used for huge cash deposits. Accordingly, ED has issued freezing order under PMLA against such 139 Bank accounts.