Human hair smuggling at peak along Indo-Myanmar border

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The ED had conducted search operations on Feb 9 and 10 (2022) under PMLA laws at various locations and seized various incriminating documents, media and Rs 1.20 Crore cash in the human hair smuggling case.

New Delhi: There is a sudden increase in the smuggling of a human hair along the Mizoram-Myanmar border. The item is allegedly transported illegally from southern states to China via Mizoram and Myanmar. The business reportedly fetches good money to the bootleggers.

The Enforcement Directorate is now looking for one Lucas Thangmangliana, a resident of Mizoram-Myanmar border Champhai town. The central government-run Enforcement Directorate (ED) suspects that Lucas is the ‘chief facilitator in the lucrative clandestine human hair smuggling’.

The ED had conducted search operations on Feb 9 and 10 (2022) under PMLA laws at various locations, including Hyderabad, Aizwal and the Myanmar border town of Champai in Mizoram. They even seized various incriminating documents, media and Rs 1.20 Crore cash in the human hair smuggling case.

Lucas has been allegedly absconding, and the officials are trying to nab him, sources in the state administration said. The officials said that the ED had raided Thangmangliana’s residence in Champhai and seized several incriminating documents.

The ED officials also raided the offices of M/s. St. Mary’s Gem Industries and M/s. Sun Moon Human Hair of Champai town and one M/s. Thari Enterprises in Aizawl.

Human hair smuggling from a few south Indian states is regarded as an extremely lucrative and money-spinner business involving crores of rupees.

It is alleged that the smuggling modus operandi involves transporting truckloads of human hair from south India to China via Mizoram and Myanmar, a source said on the condition of anonymity. There is also ‘illegal trade’ in dry areca nut or ‘supari’ on this route.

After initiating a money-laundering investigation, the ED officials said they came to know about hawala payments to local hair traders in the fund trail investigations of online Chinese betting applications.

A criminal case was initially registered in Hyderabad in Telangana. The investigations from Hyderabad linked to Kolkata and subsequently to Guwahati in Assam and even Aizawl and Champhai in far-off Mizoram.

The ED officials have reportedly frozen properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, against over 130 bank accounts.

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