- ED was constituted in 1956 for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA). At present, the administrative control of the Enforcement Directorate is with the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
- The ED today is a multi-dimensional organisation investigating economic offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act and FERA.
Powers of ED
- The PMLA was brought in to prevent parking of money outside India and to trace out the layering and the trail of money. The ED got its power to investigate these crimes under Sections 48 and 49 of PMLA.
- Whenever any offence is registered by a local police station, which has generated proceeds of crime over and above ₹1 crore, the ED steps in. The ED can also carry out search (property) and seizure (money/documents) if it suspects money has been laundered.
- A person shall be guilty of the offence of money-laundering, if such person is found to have directly or indirectly attempted to indulge or knowingly assist a party involved in one or more of the following activities — concealment; possession; acquisition; use; or projecting as untainted property; or claiming as untainted property in any manner.
Can the ED investigate cases of money laundering retrospectively?
- Since the PMLA was enacted only in 2005, any ill-gotten property acquired before the year 2005 has no case under PMLA.
Why in News?
- The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized ₹3.94 crore in the case related to an Education Technology company under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).