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Bank frauds, ponzi, govt funds swindling constitute half of ED’s money laundering cases: Data

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Bank frauds, ponzi, govt funds swindling constitute half of ED’s money laundering cases: Data

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Cases related to bank loan frauds, embezzlement of government funds and duping of investors through ponzi scams constitute almost half of the money laundering investigations taken up by the ED since it was empowered to investigate serious financial crimes about 16 years back.

Cases of corruption in the government and public sector come next as they form about 20 per cent of the total cases being investigated by the federal agency under the anti-money laundering law that stipulates rigorous imprisonment up to 7 years (not less than 3 years) to a convict. In cases where the money laundering charges are proven on the back of a narcotics trafficking crime, the maximum punishment can go up to 10 years.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was entrusted to enforce the stringent criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), enacted in 2002, from July 1, 2005. The law empowers the agency to summon, arrest, attach the assets of the accused at the investigation stage and prosecute the offenders before a court of law.

As per the scheme of the PMLA, the ED requires registration of an FIR or chargesheet by a state police or any other law enforcement agency in order to consider it as a ”predicate offence” before filing a criminal case and initiating investigation against the accused who in many cases are high-profile people including politicians, rich businessmen, corporate groups and bureaucrats.

As per data accessed by PTI, the ED between July 2005, to November 2021,…

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