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Hyderabad to Myanmar: ED unearths ₹11,793-crore human hair smuggling racket

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has unearthed an ₹11,793-crore human hair smuggling racket after an alleged money laundering operation in Telangana’s Hyderabad, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.

Action has been initiated against Hyderabad-based Nayla Family Exports Private Ltd in 2021 for using benami import-export codes, impersonation, and forgery in connection with the racket. The money laundering allegedly took place through a “three-point corridor” – the Hyderabad-Mizoram-Myanmar.

Amid the baldness problem that has been troubling the Chinese population, the smuggled hair from Hyderabad has been transported to China, as well as other countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, from Hyderabad airport and through other land routes, as reported by TOI.

The report elaborated on routing back the illicit funds to Hyderabad from traders in Myanmar.

The firm used benami ‘import-export’ codes

Cash amounting to ₹2,491 crore, constituting over 21% of the total sum of ₹11,793 crore, was deposited into various accounts after being routed through multiple channels.

In February 2022, the ED conducted extensive searches nationwide, uncovering a furtive operation involving exporting hair to Myanmar.

The ED took swift action, initiating cases in 2021 against Nayla Family Exports Private Ltd for allegedly engaging in illicit practices such as utilizing fictitious import-export codes (IEC), impersonation, and forgery.

Nayla purportedly established numerous shell companies to export hair at significantly deflated prices. According to the TOI report, these shell entities are dissolved whenever they encounter scrutiny from tax authorities, with new IECs being created subsequently. Payments, amounting to an estimated ₹8,000 crore annually, are believed to be received through hawala channels.

China’s hair loss problem

In 2020, China saw a sizable hair loss population of 251 million, with women comprising 88 million of that figure. Hair loss occurs at a younger age among Chinese individuals, with many experiencing thinning hair between the ages of 21 and 30, a considerable shift compared to previous generations, a journal data according to Statista said.

Estimates suggest that around 240 million people in China are grappling with various forms of “alopecia”, indicating a substantial market opportunity. Factors such as an increasing elderly population and the consequent rise in alopecia cases are said to be driving this market growth, according to Insights10, a healthcare-focused market research company.


Alopecia, characterised by irregular hair loss, affects a significant portion of the population, presenting in various forms, including localised or diffuse, temporary or permanent, and impacting individuals of all ages and genders. The condition, stemming from diverse causes such as heightened stress levels, diabetes, inadequate nutrition, and environmental factors, can profoundly distress patients, affecting their overall well-being. Common symptoms encompass hair loss, thinning hair, and bald patches on the scalp.

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source by: Hindustan Times

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