Context: About 700 entities that had taken the assistance of a hawala racket allegedly operated by Naresh Jain and his associates are under the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) scanner for suspected laundering of undisclosed income running into thousands of crores.
- The entities allegedly paid commissions to the syndicate to rotate funds and also send the money overseas using hundreds of shell companies.
- Directorate of Enforcement is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance (Department of Investment and Public Asset Management; Expenditure; Revenue; Financial Services; Economic Affairs are other departments of the Ministry).
- It enforces the following laws: –
Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) – A Civil Law.
Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) – A Criminal Law.
A brief analysis of other major agencies of the central government:
- The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is India’s internal intelligence agency. It is under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- Directorate of Enforcement is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
- The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence is the apex intelligence and investigative agency for matters relating to violation of the Customs Act. It is under the Ministry of Finance.
- The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is a part of Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance.
- National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a central agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India. It is under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating agency of India operating under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
- All appointments in the CBI above the rank of Superintendent of Police are approved by a five-member committee chaired by the CVC and including two vigilance commissioners and secretaries of the Home Ministry and the Department of Personnel and Training.
- The CBI chief is an invitee to the committee and has to be consulted.
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
- Established to satisfy the need for increased intelligence that was identified during the 1962 Sino-Indian Border War and during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was created in 1968 to handle India’s external intelligence affairs.
- Currently, RAW operates under the Prime Minister’s Office, and was intentionally established as a “wing” versus an “agency” in order to bypass agency reporting requirements to Parliament’s Right to Information Act.
- In 1968, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi appointed R. N. Kao as the first director of RAW.
Attached Bodies or Autonomous Bodies
- Aerial Reconnaissance Centre
- The ARC is responsible for collection of high quality overhead imagery of activities and installations in neighboring countries.
- Special Frontier Force
- A paramilitary force in India, the Special Frontier Force is headed by the inspector general who reports to the director general of security for RAW.
- National Technical Facilities Organization/National Technical Research Organization
- The function of the NTRO is suspected to be technological espionage. There are also indicators to suggest they perform imagery and communications analysis via varying platforms.