The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started a preliminary investigation in cases registered against Indians whose names appeared in the black money list handed over to India by the French government a few years ago.

The ED is in the process of collecting details of the charge sheets filed by Income Tax Department against more than 140 entities so far, from various courts across the nation, reported PTI. The agency is looking to conduct an independent hawala and money-laundering probe in these cases.

According to the PTI sources, those named in the HSBC black money list could face charges under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and many of them may also face action under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

It is also reported that the tax agency has registered cases under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC that allows the ED to slap money-laundering charges against those named in the list.

The ED has started to examine the cases collected so far and has also sent FEMA notices to some against whom the I-T department has filed court cases.

The HSBC has a list of 628 names of Indian residents, of which 200 were either non-residents or non-traceable. Only 428 people in the list will face action.

The I-T department has so far filed 140 court cases for wilful attempt to evade tax and failure to furnish accounts and documents, among other tax-evasion charges.