The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) this week busted a Rs 1000 crore hawala ring allegedly run by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) in India.
According to media reports, the arrested Chinese agents were getting help from Pakistani spy ring to establish their espionage networks in India. Reports said that the money raised through this racket was handed over to the ISI to undertake subversive activities in India.
This development comes after the Delhi Police arrested Luo Sang, alias Charlie Peng, who is suspected to be an agent of the Chinese intelligence service, the Ministry of State Security (MSS) in August. The Enforcement Directorate had registered a case in connection with the China hawala scam. The case was filed against Luo Sang alias Charlie Peng and others under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002.
The Income Tax Department also conducted raids against some Chinese individuals and their local associates for allegedly indulging in a money-laundering racket involving Rs 1,000 crore using shell or dubious firms, the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) said.
The crackdown on a multi-billion hawala racket operating in Delhi-NCR revealed that Luo Sang had created a fake Indian identity in the name of Charlie Peng through forged Aadhaar cards and travel documents. He was earlier arrested by Delhi Police on charges of espionage in 2018.
Further investigations found that Sang was first sent to Nepal where he was trained in money exchange, hawala operations and accounts after which he arrived in India. Investigations have shown that he was involved in the import and export of medical and electronic goods and also other items.
Targeting Dalai Lama
As per the reports, he was collecting information on the whereabouts of key Tibetan refugees and people close to Dalai Lama in India.
Though the 85-year-old Dalai Lama devolved his temporal authority over the Tibetan government in exile to the elected leadership in 2011, he remains a symbol of Tibetan resistance despite the fact he fled into exile in India in the year 1959. He is protected by three-tier security in Dharamsala, including Himachal police personnel and a group of Tibetans comprising about 150 men.
It was not for the first time that the Chinese spy has been arrested for trying to collect information regarding the Dalai Lama. In 2008, the security of the Dalai Lama had sought funds from the Ministry of External Affairs (MoEA) for installing chemical detection instruments at the palace of the Dalai Lama in McLeodganj. The equipment was sought as it was suspected as some Chinese spy might try to poison the Dalai Lama with hair laced with poison.
Chinese spy ring in India
Meanwhile, reports further stated that the Delhi Police's Special Cell in September 2018 had arrested Luo Sang on charges of running a spy ring in India and seized a forged Indian passport which he had procured from Manipur.
During interrogation, he revealed that he had crossed into India in 2013 and first settled in Manipur where he married Indian women and the duo started living in rented accommodation.
After staying for a few years in Manipur he shifted his base to Delhi.
Further investigations revealed that Sang had created more than 40 bank accounts linked to multiple shell companies and the hawala operations were linked to transactions worth over Rs 1,000 crore.
The China-Pakistan axis has been a serious cause of concern for India and Indian intelligence agencies.
In June this year, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) said it was bolstering up its maritime intelligence network with increased focus on the Arabian Sea region to counter the growing influence of the China-Pakistan nexus in the Indian Ocean.
However, the security of the Dalai Lama has been tightened by the Himachal police after the recent arrest of a Chinese spy from Delhi. The 14th Lama has remained indoors and has not met anyone since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.