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Wed. Aug 10th, 2022
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NEW DELHI: Raids carried out by the Enforcement Directorate during 2014-2022 saw a nearly 27-fold increase to 3,010 as compared to 112 searches between 2004 and 2014, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that the increased number of searches were conducted “in order to dispose of pending investigation in old cases and to complete investigation in new cases in a time- bound manner under the PMLA” and that complex investigations in cases, which have multiple accused, require multiple searches leading to increase in the numbers of such actions.
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was enacted in 2002, but implemented from July 1, 2005.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power between 2004 and 2014 while the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came into power from the middle of 2014.
Union minister Chaudhary was responding to a question from Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi who asked whether ED raids have gone up almost 90 per cent from 2014 and if the raid-to-complaint ratio of ED cases has gone down drastically from 2014.
“During the first nine years of administration of PMLA, a small number of searches (112) were carried out which resulted in attachment of proceeds of crime of Rs 5,346.16 crore and filing of 104 prosecution complaints.
“During the period, trial court has not convicted any accused for the offence of money laundering or confiscated any property under PMLA,” the minister said while providing figures for the period from 2004-05 to 2013-14 fiscals.
Chaudhary then provided data for the eight financial years between 2014-15 and 2021-22.
“In order to dispose of pending investigation in old cases and to complete investigation in new cases in a time-bound manner under the PMLA, 3,010 searches were conducted during the last eight years which resulted in attachment of proceeds of crime of about Rs 99,356 crore, filing of prosecution complaint in 888 cases and conviction of 23 accused persons/entities and confiscation of proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 869.31 crore,” the minister said.
He added it was “pertinent to mention here that searches in the course of investigation of money laundering cases are very important from the perspective of collection of evidence”.
“Increase in number of searches shows government’s commitment to prevent money laundering and improved systems for gathering financial intelligence through use of technology, better interagency cooperation and exchange of information both domestically and internationally. Concerted efforts to complete pending investigations in old cases and investigations in complex money laundering cases that have multiple accused requiring multiple searches are some of the reasons for increase in number of searches,” Chaudhary said.
A near double jump was also registered when the same time periods are compared for the ED action undertaken under the civil sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
FEMA was enacted in 1999 after repealing the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) of 1973.
“During the period (2004-05 to 2013-14), 571 searches were conducted and 8,586 cases were taken up for investigations under provisions of FEMA which resulted in issuance of show cause notices in 2,780 cases and adjudication of 1,312 SCNs thereby imposing penalty of Rs 1,754.33 crore.
“Further, assets to the tune of Rs 14 crore (approx.) were seized under FEMA,” the minister said, citing the data.
“In order to dispose of pending investigation in old cases and to complete investigation in new cases in a time-bound manner under the FEMA, 996 searches were conducted and 22,330 cases were taken up for investigations under provisions of FEMA which resulted in issuance of SCNs in 5,329 cases and adjudication of 5,160 SCNs thereby imposing penalty of Rs 6,376.51 crore. Further, assets to the tune of Rs 7,066 crore (approx.) were seized under FEMA,” the data for the 2014-15 to 2021-22 fiscals said.
The minister said the ED has filed a total of 992 money laundering chargesheets till March 31, 2022, and out of these, 23 people have been convicted for the offence of money laundering and “in only one case, accused were discharged on merit against which appeal has already been filed before the Hon’ble High Court”.

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