Kolkata: The Income Tax department on Thursday seized over Rs 45 crore cash, stashed in gunny bags and almirahs, in Kolkata and adjoining areas as part of a crackdown against lottery and hawala dealers suspected to be channeling illegal funds for Dawood Ibrahim gang.
The IT sleuths seized the money shortly before it was to be sent to Dubai today through hawala channels, sources said. They said the search teams, led by the sleuths of the Kolkata I-T investigations wing, recovered over Rs 45 crore in cash from 16 gunny bags, 27 travel bags and two almirahs from two locations in Kolkata’s dingy by lanes.
“Investigators have so far counted Rs 45 crore cash and the amount may go up to Rs 50-55 crore,” they said. Kolkata police officer said that, consisting of members of STF and its anti-bank fraud section, helped the tax department sleuths conduct the raids at five places in the city.”Raids are being conducted at four places in New Alipore police station limits and one on Sarat Bose Road area today,” the officer said.
The alleged kingpins, identified as S Nagaarjuna and Santiago Martin, are under the scanner of the agencies and could be arrested. They said Martin was apprehended by Enforcement Directorate about two years ago in Chnennai and had seized from him Rs 7 crore in cash.The team also recovered some fake documents from the hawala team. ED has taken over the whole investigation.