Hawala Scam: Nagarajan’s Passport Seized

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Kolkata: Police on Friday seized the passport of the con man S Nagarajan who has been arrested on Thursday for running a hawala racket in Kolkata and across the state. He is currently being grilled by the sleuths.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Thursday has unearthed a major financial racket in Kolkata by recovering over Rs 20 crore currency notes stacked in sacks and almirahs.

The money was allegedly being sent to Dubai through the hawala route. The money was recovered from nine locations in Kolkata, the premises owned by a Tamil businessman who was running a fake lottery business in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, sources said.

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The accused runs a company named General System in Kolkata from the posh Sarat Bose Road area, and from a location in Siliguri, West Bengal. Sources said the racket is estimated to be over Rs. 1,000 crore. CBDT officials conducted a raid Thursday morning after receiving a tip-off from the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

This is one of the biggest money-recovery operations in West Bengal.

Sources further added that the cash stored in the semi business and office premises were used to be sent to Middle East countries through a huge Hawala network. “The racket used to be operated from Kolkata. We are yet to ascertain the motive of the money laundering. And we are investigating into the specific destination of the money laundered in the Middle East countries. However, we have got information that the transactions were made to offshore accounts.”

The searches were conducted at the office premises located on Sarat Bose road in south Kolkata in presence of the officials of Special task Force (STF) of Kolkata police while other teams have raided at shops in Subhas market area in Siliguri, said a senior police official. The raids started early morning on Thursday.

Some clandestine business ventures were going on to store the cash and make the illegal transactions. The front businesses include some retail shops and lottery business too, added the source