Man arrested on forex fraud charges in India

Chris Lee
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An arrest has been made in India in connection with forex fraud.

In the most recent case, police in Mumbai took a man into custody after he was alleged to have spearheaded a money laundering scheme involving fake Currency Declaration Forms, or CDFs.

According to local media, Prashant Parkar stands accused of creating more than a hundred fraudulent documents for people in the clothing export industry.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Mumbai said that the forged documents were used to authorise the moving of currency believed to be worth around 110 crore, which is equivalent to almost one million British pounds or over $1.4 million US dollars at the time of writing.

It’s believed that he gained 12 lakh in commission, which at the time of writing was equal to around £12,000 British pounds or just over $16,000 US dollars.

The foreign money he authorised using the fake documents, however, was in fact illegal – meaning that he was essentially laundering the money.

CDFs are documents issued at airports. They are normally filled out when a passenger is arriving with either travellers’ cheques or cash with a total value of over $10,000 US dollars.

Police pursued him for a year and three months once the fraud was revealed back in July 2017. At that time, more than ten clothing exporters were arrested.

However, it was not until recently that Parkar was taken into custody. He was arrested under rules relating to the country’s Customs Act.

“Investigations have revealed that some unscrupulous exporters were buying foreign currency from the grey market and depositing in their bank accounts against forged CDFs”, a source from the DRI told local media outlets.

The source emphasised the fact that the case was meticulously planned and executed.

“This is a unique case of pre-planned conspiracy to rob the government of its legitimate revenue by misusing the benefits of export incentive schemes extended to genuine exporters”, they added.

“Parkar will be questioned for information on another accused who provided him the stationary to prepare forged CDFs; we will also question him to find out the source of the foreign exchange.”

Rumours are also circulating that Parkar has spent either some or all of the money he acquired through his illegitimate dealings. He is believed to have spent some time abroad.

The source from the DRI said: “We are also verifying if he travelled overseas during the time he was an absconder.”

The news of Parkar’s arrest comes after last week’s news that two entrepreneurs have been taken into custody after they set up an illicit cryptocurrency ATM machine in Bengaluru.

In that case, the two men are accused of breaking laws under the IT Act. They are accused of failing to sign up their ATM with relevant regulatory authorities, and the machine was raided by police as a result.

India’s authorities are often kept busy with cases of alleged currency-related fraud. Technological education is high in India, meaning that some members of the workforce there have the skills to carry out complex, internet-related scams.

Chris Lee

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