The Election Commission has set up a committee to collate and share intelligence on the use of black money in the Lok Sabha elections.

It has tasked the Enforcement Directorate with attaching assets of candidates and their relatives in case of any violation of money laundering laws. The Enforcement Directorate, the nodal agency for probing cases of foreign exchange violation and money laundering, has also been told to keep a watch on the movement of black money.

The agency will also mount surveillance on trans-border ‘hawala’ operations and election-related funds tied up with ‘hawala’ operators. According to the directive, the Enforcement Directorate will initiate proceedings for attachment of assets of candidates and their relatives if they come within the purview of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. And the attachment could be made public before the elections.

The agency has also been directed to investigate undeclared foreign assets with political linkages; in case, it comes across any such property, the matter has to be brought to the notice of the enforcement agency concerned.

Cases of ‘hawala’ covered under the Foreign Exchange Management Act will also have to be investigated, and if any election-related funds are found linked to any hawala operator, the agency should initiate legal proceedings against such agents and all those involved.

The Income Tax Department, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Narcotics Control Bureau and other security and intelligence agencies have also been told to assist the Election Commission.

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