Maximum scope of money laundering in real estate sector: ED

PTI Posted online: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : The real estate sector in India has the maximum scope for money laundering activities and there should be some sort of regulatory mechanism to keep a check on such activities, Special Director of the Enforcement Directorate Balesh Kumar today said.

"...real estate dealers and brokers should have some sort of regulatory mechanism. Our estimate is that the maximum scope for money laundering in India is through the real estate sector. We do feel that this sector needs some kind of in- house regulation," Kumar said during a workshop on money laundering hosted by BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

As for the banking sector, there is the Reserve Bank and even lawyers have a voluntary bar council mechanism, there is no such mechanism in the real estate sector, Kumar said. He said two major parties involved in the 2G scam namely D B Realty and Unitech were also real estate firms. "Kindly recall the 2G scam, the two major parties in the scam were DB Reality and the Unitech group, and both were real estate sector. And they entered into a sector in which they had no experience - the telecom sector - and see what

happened."

According to data from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and Russia) Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the cases of money laundering in India increased from 798 at the end of 2009 to 1,561 in 2013. Also, India is one of the five countries to use funds from money laundering in diamond business.