ED Probes Truckload Of Cash Carried Out Of India

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ED Probes Truckload Of Cash Carried Out Of India

Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing whether VIP planes are being used to carry out cash out of India. In an investigation, it was found that many planes used by VIPs were restructured with cubbyholes where cash could be carried out unexplored.

The investigators are still searching for the evidence to find out the owners or their VIP clients involved in illegally carrying out cash in such planes.

The issue came into the limelight in the month of May after the arrest of a former journalist and businessman, Upendra Rai. Mr. Rai is alleged to have obtained an aerodrome entry pass from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security by using fake credentials.

It was the CBI who arrested the businessman and executives of the private plane operator Air One along with some airport officials for having the access to all airports across the country. According to the sources, the real motive of Mr. Rai for having an all-access pass is unrevealed by the investigators.

The ED said they have seized all the assets of Mr. Rai which is worth of Rs. 26 Crore that includes flats in South Delhi’s Great Kailash and Connaught Place area. There is more to the story as ED reveals about the extortion of companies and channel funds through shell companies by Upendra Rai.

He was suspected to be working with an aviation engineer for the designing of an invisible pocket in planes to carry the illicit cash without leaving a trace. It can be said that the reason for targeting VIP planes is to avoid high-security checks.

Investigators confirmed that Air One, which Mr. Rai was associated with, had parked the planes for long periods of time in Dubai. There were other suspicious activities like use of Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali which has less scrutiny than the main Dubai airport. The sources say that apart from Dubai visits, Air One frequently visited Russia.

Investigators are now tracing suspicious activities after demonetization in November 2016. Just after the note ban was announced, Delhi International Airport Ltd., (DIAL) received queries from a foreign agency about an internationally registered plane that was caught ferrying a large amount of cash from the national capital. The airport authorities, however, declined to give details of what was found in that probe.

It is unclear who is responsible for the alleged security breach that has been taking place on such planes. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security who gave Upendra Rai the pass, told that it wasn’t just their responsibility but issued on the basis of an application made by the person duly.

There is a suspicion that the planes may be changed or loaded in smaller airstrips in places like Hissar in Haryana. There are 400 airstrips across the country and only 100 are used commercially.

However, even if private planes are to be loaded in those airstrips, they have to clear customs and that’s where having a VIP on board helps.


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