Money Laundering PMLA Lawyer

Money laundering: Section 3 of the PMLA defines the offence of money laundering and states that, “whosoever directly or indirectly attempts to indulge or knowingly assists or knowingly is a party to or is actually involved in any process or activity connected with the proceeds of crime including its concealment, possession, acquisition or use and projecting or claiming it as untainted property shall be guilty of offence of money laundering”. Section 4 of the PMLA provides the penal consequence i.e. punishment for the offence of money laundering.

Thus, what is relevant to keep in mind is that for a person to be guilty of the offence of money laundering the said person must be involved in any process of activity connected with the “proceeds of crime”.

Attachment of property under PMLA:
The ED has power to provisionally attach a property in terms of Section 5 of the PMLA if a person is in possession of “proceeds of crime”. The said attachment is confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority under section 8 of the PMLA and is to be confiscated by the Government in terms of Section 9 of the PMLA. To establish an offence of money laundering or for attachment of property under PMLA is existence of “proceeds of crime”. Consequently it becomes imperative to understand what is meant by “proceeds of crime” under PMLA and how the courts have interpreted it.

Proceeds of crime: – The expression “proceeds of crime” forms the heart of the offence of money laundering and has been defined under Section 2(i)(u) of the PMLA. It means “any property derived or obtained, directly or indirectly, by any person as a result of criminal activity relating to a scheduled offence or the value of any such property or where such property is taken or held outside the country, then the property equivalent in value held within the country”.

The definition of proceeds of crime is divided into three parts:
  • i. property derived or obtained (directly or indirectly) as a result of criminal activity;
  • ii. the value of such property as above;
  • iii. if the property has been “taken or held” abroad, any other property “equivalent in value” whether held in India or abroad.
The PMLA Act seeks to combat money laundering in India and has three main objectives:
  • To prevent and control money laundering
  • To confiscate and seize the property obtained from the laundered money; and
  • To deal with any other issue connected with money laundering in India.
  • The Act also proposes punishment under sec.4.

Section 3. deals with the Offence of money-laundering, which says, “Whosoever directly or indirectly attempts to indulge or knowingly assists or knowingly is a party or is actually involved in any process or activity connected with the proceeds of crime and projecting it as untainted property shall be guilty of offence of money-laundering”.

Section 4. deals with the Punishment for money-laundering, which reads as: Whoever commits the offence of money-laundering shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to five lakh rupees: Provided that where the proceeds of crime involved in money-laundering relates to any offence specified under paragraph 2 of Part A of the Schedule, the provisions of this section shall have effect as if for the words “which may extend to seven years”, the words “which may extend to ten years” had been substituted.

Adjudicating authority: Adjudicating Authority exercise jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred by or under the PMLA. Where the Adjudicating Authority decides that any property is involved in money-laundering, Adjudicating Authority shall, by an order in writing confirm the attachment of the property made or retention of property or record seized.

Appellate tribunal: Under Section 25 of the PMLA, the Central Government has established an Appellate Tribunal. Section 28(4) of the PMLA provides that “the Chairperson or a Member holding a post as such in any other Tribunal, established under any law for the time being in force, in addition to his being the Chairperson or a member of that Tribunal, may be appointed as the Chairperson or a Member, as the case may be, of the Appellate Tribunal under this Act.

Enforcement Directorate:
The Directorate of Enforcement was established in the year 1956 with its Headquarters at New Delhi. It is responsible for enforcement of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and certain provisions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Work relating to investigation and prosecution of cases under the PMLA has been entrusted to Enforcement Directorate. The Directorate has 10 Zonal offices each of which is headed by a Deputy Director and 11 sub Zonal Offices each of which is headed by an Assistant Directors.
Zonal offices of ED is situated at: Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Bangalore & Hyderabad. Sub Zonal offices of the ED is situated at: Jaipur, Jalandhar, Srinagar, Varanasi, Guwahati, Calicut, Indore, Nagpur, Patna, Bhubaneshwar & Madurai.

Functions of Enforcement Directorate:-
  • To collect, develop and disseminate intelligence relating to violations of FEMA, 1999, the intelligence inputs are received from various sources such as Central and State Intelligence agencies, complaints etc.
  • To investigate suspected violations of the provisions of the FEMA, 1999 relating to activities such as “hawala” foreign exchange racketeering, non-realization of export proceeds, non-repatriation of foreign exchange and other forms of violations under FEMA, 1999.
  • To adjudicate cases of violations of the erstwhile FERA, 1973 and FEMA, 1999.
  • To realize penalties imposed on conclusion of adjudication proceedings.
  • To handle adjudication, appeals and prosecution cases under the erstwhile FERA, 1973
  • To process and recommend cases for preventive detention under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA)
  • To undertake survey, search, seizure, arrest, prosecution action etc. against offender of PMLA offence.
  • To provide and seek mutual legal assistance to/from contracting states in respect of attachment/confiscation of proceeds of crime as well as in respect of transfer of accused persons under PMLA.

Our law office deals with many such cases and has wide practice of PMLA law. Mr. A K Singh is very well known lawyer of PMLA and ED Cases. Presently he is representing Sukesh Chandrashekhar and his wife Leena Poulose in various cases related to ED, EOW & CBI. In the past Mr. Singh has represented Om Prakash Chautala, Ajay Chautala in their DA case filed by CBI. Mr. Singh is one of the finest criminal lawyer in India who practices money laundry PMLA cases and criminal trial of ED case and also one of the best criminal lawyer for ED Case- PMLA lawyer for ED Cases and money laundering PMLA lawyer in Delhi.