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India raids Chinese entities for money laundering

FILE PHOTO: Member of NSUI holds a placard during a protest against China, in Ahmedabad

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian tax authorities raided the premises of a few Chinese entities and their associates for money laundering, according to an official statement late on Tuesday, adding to New Delhi’s growing discomfort with Beijing after a border clash in June.

Since the clash, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has taken steps such as banning some Chinese mobile-phone apps, and tightening the requirements for Chinese investment and participation in government tenders.

The statement provided no details on the timing of the raids or on the kind of ‘entities’ mentioned.

Chinese individuals, their allies and a couple of bank employees were involved in money laundering through a series of shell companies, the statement said.

“Search action revealed that at the behest of Chinese individuals, more than 40 bank accounts were created in various dummy entities, entering into credits of more than 10 billion rupees ($134.03 million)over the period,” the statement said.

During the raid, the authorities found evidence of transactions involving Hong Kong and US dollars.

The statement said one of the subsidiaries of a Chinese company and its related concerns had taken more than 1 billion Indian rupees ($13.4 million) in bogus advances from shell entities, purportedly to open “retail showrooms” in India.

The statement did not mention the names of the companies or Chinese individuals involved in money laundering and “hawala” money transactions, which allow customers to rapidly move large sums of money across borders without the scrutiny of regulators.

“Further investigations are under progress,” it added.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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