India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) says it has unearthed a US$300 million trade-based money laundering (TBML) operation at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai.
Several suspects have already been arrested, including three diamond valuers and a customs house agent who appear to have used price misrepresentation in their TBML operations.
In one case involving two firms, the DRI intercepted 14 consignments of low quality rough diamonds with a declared value of US$23.5 million. But the directorate’s valuers said the fair value of these imports is a meagre US$180,000.
Officials said cheap quality rough diamonds are being imported from Hong Kong and Dubai in connivance with exporters in those countries as well as BDM based customs officers.
The TBML scheme has enabled the two firms suspected of involvement in this case – Antique Exim and Tanman Jewels – to illicitly shift funds of more than US$23 million from India to Hong Kong and Dubai.
The diamonds bought by the firms were procured at grossly overvalued prices and once the consignment arrived at BDB, valuers participating in the TBML scheme approved the declared value as the fair value.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News