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  Metros   Delhi  15 Dec 2016  Rs 3.5 crore old cash seized from Karol Bagh hotel

Rs 3.5 crore old cash seized from Karol Bagh hotel

THE ASIAN AGE. | SAURABH TRIVEDI
Published : Dec 15, 2016, 2:04 am IST
Updated : Dec 15, 2016, 3:32 am IST

Five persons have been detained and a massive hunt has been launched to trace the hotel owner.

During interrogation, the suspects claimed that they were specialists in transporting hawala money in such a way that it could go undetected  through X-ray machines. (Photo: Representational Image)
 During interrogation, the suspects claimed that they were specialists in transporting hawala money in such a way that it could go undetected through X-ray machines. (Photo: Representational Image)

New Delhi: In a joint operation, Delhi Police and the income tax department seized Rs 3.5 crore of demonetised currency  from a hotel in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area on Tuesday night. The seized money reportedly belonged to Mumbai-based hawala operators, who were planning to exchange it for new currency with the help of some corrupt bank officials in lieu of a considerable commission. Five persons have been detained and a massive hunt has been launched to trace the hotel owner.  

Joint commissioner of police (crime branch) Ravindra Yadav said it was on a tip-off that the raid was conducted at Hotel Taksh Inn in Karol Bagh. “After a thorough search of  two rooms — 202 and 206, five men were caught with suitcases and cartons that contained demonetised Indian currency notes worth Rs 3.5 crore.” Preliminary investigations revealed that the owner of the hotel was himself involved in the money exchange business. He is learnt to be running his business in the name of Guru Forex.

 

Sources said the hotel owner was missing after the raids. The manager of the hotel too disappeared from the hotel after the raids began at about 8 pm. Those detained from the hotel have been identified as Ansari Abuzar, Fazal Khan, Ansari Affan, Ladu Ram, and Mahavir Singh. They had reportedly come Delhi to collect the money from hawala traders and transport the money to two others in Mumbai. The suspects were planning to transport the black money by air to Mumbai. They had packed the demonetised currency notes in such a way that they went undetected during security check at the IGI airport. After reaching Mumbai, the money was to be delivered to two other hawala operators — Lalit Bhai and Bholu Bhai. “Their job was to convert black money into white later in cahoots with the bank officials,” a senior police officer told this newspaper. During the interrogation, Affan told the police that he was a hawala agent, who used to work for a commission. The other four were his associates and they worked as carriers of the consignments. During interrogation, the suspects claimed that they were specialists in transporting hawala money in such a way that it could go undetected  through X-ray machines. After collecting the cash, they had wrapped it in newspapers and at the bottom of the trolley bags and suitcases by using double-side tapes and adhesives in various bundles. They covered the bundles with black cloth and placed spiral telephone or Internet cables over it to deceive baggage-scanning machines installed at the railway stations or airports.

 

They also kept money with them in case they had to pay excess baggage fare for exceeding the weight limit. After collecting cash, they were planning to fly to Mumbai.

Income-tax officials were analysing the mobile phone details of the five men and have found phone numbers of other hawala operators. I-T officials were questioning them to establish the source of the money and understand their modus operandi.

This the second big raid in the last five days. A law firm at Greater Kailash in south Delhi was raided by the police and IT department on Saturday and over Rs 13.56 crore cash including Rs 2.6 crore in new notes was found stuffed in suitcases, trunks and cupboards.

 

Tags: income tax, hawala, demonetisation
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi