With the crackdown on unaccounted wealth, the quantum of assets attached for money-laundering rose to R2,300 crore in FY13, a seven-fold jump from a year ago, the enforcement directorate (ED) said.
The ED has also completed investigation into about 1,288 cases in 2012-13, nearly double the figure from a year ago, director Rajan Katoch said at a function. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act mandates depriving offenders of the proceeds of the crime by attaching their assets.
Finance minister P Chidambaram said the ED should be careful while choosing cases for prosecution under the money laundering law.
“A word of caution is necessary. We must be extremely selective in deciding which cases to prosecute under the money laundering law. Otherwise, we will be overwhelmed with cases that we would be required to prosecute,” said the minister.
Chidambaram called for greater international cooperation and technology sharing among nations to deal with money laundering.
“It is important that agencies across the world cooperate, share technology, share information and chase offenders,” the minister said, adding that there was a need to strengthen the directorate and fill up vacant positions.
“I would like to appeal to the CVC, UPSC and the department of personnel and training to please understand the gravity of situation arising out of these vacancies and work harder and quicker to ensure that these vacancies are filled,” Chidambaram said.
The minister also said ED should explore the possibility of taking officers from state police departments and training them in handling money-laundering offenses.