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CBI registered cases against 13 companies for illegal money laundering

CBI has registered a case against 13 companies for alleged illegal transfer of over ₹2,250 crore to foreign entities against imports worth just about ₹24.64 crore. The agency suspects it to be a case of trade-based money laundering. More than 1,211 transactions were made through Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, State Bank of Hyderabad, Corporation Bank, Central Bank of India and Axis Bank during the fiscal  2015-16.

The companies, floated using Import-Export Code registration at fictitious addresses, were operating several current accounts in various banks. All these firms were . They had imported miscellaneous consignments through Nhava Sheva and Mumbai port in 2015-16.

The CBI has identified the firms as Stelkon Infratel, Apolla Enterprises, Kundan Trading, Disney International, Anek Trading, Lubeez Enterprises, Pawan Enterprise, Lemon Trading Company, Padilite Traders, Fine Touch Impex, Azure Enterprises, Seabird Enterprises and Iconic Enterprises.

Explaining the modus operandi, the FIR alleges that forged Bills of Entry were presented to the banks for effecting remittances. Their details did not match with the Customs Import data. The other details such as the invoice number, name of the supplier, description of goods and value appeared to be completely different from the Customs data. In certain cases, the same Bill of Entry was submitted to different banks and money remitted against it. While in some cases, the Bills of Entry of unrelated importer were presented to the bank and money was remitted abroad.

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