National

Chinese man with hawala link ‘bribed’ monks living in Delhi

NEW DELHI, AUG 16 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 8/16/2020 12:26:12 PM IST

A 42-year-old Chinese man, identified as Charlie Peng who is accused in Rs 1,000 crore worth cross-border money laundering racket, had been bribing some ‘lamas’ (Buddhist spiritual monk) in Delhi’s Majnu ka Tila to gather information on Dalai Lama and his associate, the Income Tax department found in its probe on Sunday.

Peng is alleged to be the kingpin of this racket. The 42-year-old Chinese national, aka Luao Sang, is allegedly holding a fake Indian passport and officials said he created a “web of sham companies to launder hawala funds to and from China” in the past two-three years.

It is alleged that Peng got a fake Indian passport from Manipur after marrying a woman from that state. He reportedly entered India in 2013.

According to officials, Peng used to handover nearly Rs 3 lakh in cash to the ‘lamas’. Some men working with Peng confessed to the I-T department that they used to give money in packets to the people concerned.

The entire communication was done on Chinese app ‘WeChat’, which has now been banned in India. The I-T has shared the information with other government agencies to intensify probe.

The money laundering racked was busted by tax sleuths earlier this week when officials raided some Chinese individuals and their local associates and seized a number of documents and computer peripherals and recovered about Rs nearly 60-70 lakh cash from multiple premises in the Delhi-NCR region.

The tax sleuths raided at least two dozen premises in Delhi, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad on Tuesday as part of the action under which it covered the Chinese, some of their Indian associates and bank officials, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had said in a statement.

They said his front or showcase business was import and export of medical and electronic goods and some other items.

Charlie, the sources said, was arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police in September, 2018 on charges of fraud and forgery and was allegedly running an illegal money changer.

The CBDT in its statement, without taking any names, had said that the “subsidiary of Chinese company and its related concerns have taken over Rs 100 crore bogus advances from shell entities for opening businesses of retail showrooms in India”.

Evidences of foreign hawala transactions involving Hong Kong and US dollars have also been unearthed, the CBDT said.

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