NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered 1,999 cases of money laundering and 18,003 cases under sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) between April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2020, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
In a written reply to an unstarred question by Congress MP Manish Tewari in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said, “Between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2020, the ED carried out searches 1,758 searches under sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and 1,027 searches in connection with FEMA cases”. Based on those, the ED registered 1,999 cases in the same period under PMLA and 18,003 cases under FEMA, the minister stated.
Tewari also shared the reply of the Minister on his Twitter on Tuesday.
The Minister further stated that as on February 28, 2022, the ED has filed chargesheets in 943 cases which are under different stages of trial. “As on March 15, 2022, trial courts under PMLA convicted 23 accused for the offence of money laundering and in only one case the accused were discharged on merit,” he said.
Chaudhary said that between 2004 and 2014, 112 searches were carried out which resulted in attachment of proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 5,346.16 crore and filing of 104 chargesheets. And during 2014-22, 2,974 searches were conducted, which resulted in attachment of proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 95,432.09 crore and filing of 839 chargesheets, he stated.
While emphasising upon the importance for searches in the course of investigation of money laundering cases from the perspective of collection of evidence, the minister said: “Increase in the number of searches show the government’s commitment to prevent money laundering. Improved systems for gathering financial intelligence through the use of technology, better inter-agency cooperation and exchange of information both domestically and internationally, concerted efforts to complete pending investigations in old cases and investigation in complex money laundering cases that have multiple accused requiring multiple searches are some of the reasons for increase in number of searches.”
Between July 1, 2005 and February 28, 2022, ED carried out 3,086 searches and registered 4,964 cases, the minister added.