What is the Enforcement Directorate?


Directorate of Enforcement is a specialized financial investigation body under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, which enforces the following laws: –

Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999 (FEMA) – A Civil Law, with officers are authorized to organize investigations into suspected contraventions of the Foreign Exchange Laws and Regulations, adjudicate, contraventions, and impose penalties on those adjudged to have contravened the law.

Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) – A Criminal Law, with the officers has given authority to conduct investigations to trace assets derived out of the proceeds of crime, to provisionally attach/ confiscate the same, and to arrest and prosecute the offenders found to be involved in Money Laundering.

The main functions of the Directorate are as under

  1. Investigate contraventions of the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999(FEMA) which came into action with effect from 1.6.2000. Contraventions of FEMA are dealt with by way of adjudication by designated authorities of ED and penalties up to three times the sum involved can be imposed.
  2. Investigate offences of money laundering under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002(PMLA) which came into action with effect from 1.7.2005 and to take actions of attachment and confiscation of property if the same is determined to be proceeds of crime derived from a Scheduled Offence under PMLA, and to prosecute the persons involved in the offense of money laundering. There are 156 offenses under 28 statutes which are Scheduled Offences under PMLA.
  3. Adjudicate Show Cause Notices given under the repealed Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 (FERA) up to 31.5.2002 for the alleged contraventions of the Act which may result in the imposition of penalties. Pursue prosecutions introduced under FERA in the concerned courts.
  4. Sponsor cases of preventive detention under Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974(COFEPOSA) in related to contraventions of FEMA.
  5. Render cooperation to foreign countries in matters relating to money laundering and restitution of assets under the provisions of PMLA and to seek cooperation in such cases.

The Directorate of Enforcement, with its Headquarters at New Delhi, is lead by the Director of Enforcement. There are five Regional offices at Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Delhi lead by Special Directors of Enforcement.

Zonal Offices of the Directorate are at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Panaji, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, and Srinagar. These are headed by a Joint Director.

The Directorate has Sub-Zonal Offices at Bhubaneshwar, Kozhikode, Indore, Madurai, Nagpur, Allahabad, Raipur, Dehradun, Ranchi, Surat, Shimla, Vishakhapatnam and Jammu which are headed by a Deputy Director.