In a major action against black money hoarders and money launderers, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets to the tune of Rs 9,003 crore and filed 173 charge sheets in the financial year 2014-15. As part of its efforts to crack down on illicit funds in India and abroad, in the last year registered a mammoth 400 per cent rise in the numbers of assets attached, over 500 per cent increase in the number of criminal FIRs lodged, over 600 per cent more numbers of arrests made of people suspected to be involved in laundering crimes and more than 200 per cent jump in the filing of prosecution complaints or charge sheets as compared to the 2013-14 fiscal.
The agency probes financial crimes under two prime laws of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) along with some old cases pending under the repealed Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA). The report states that the ED, under PMLA, attached assets to the tune of Rs 9,003.26 crore, registered 1,326 PMLA FIRs, arrested 52 people on laundering charges and filed a total of 173 charge sheets during 2014-15. It has issued a total of 492 attachment orders and got 355 confirmed from the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA, the first appellate body against an order issued by the ED authority.
The agency is working on as many as 4,776 cases under FEMA at present while it has issued notices to the accused after completing investigations in 1,304 cases. Penalties worth Rs 1,758.33 crore were also imposed on suspected foreign exchange law violators and hawala operators which is an over two thousand per cent rise. Acting against hawala and forex violation cases, the agency registered a total of 1,207 cases during 2014-15, a rise of 62 per cent from the 742 such cases registered by it during 2013-14.
This is a welcome step for the promises given by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government led by Modi is determined to get back the black money which will be utilized for the development of the country. There was a hue and cry regarding the black money probe by opposition, but the government was not provoked and silently worked in the case. This has resulted in a very prominent increase in the result.