HYDERABAD: Forty-eight hours after the Model Code of Conduct came into effect ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Hyderabad Task force police busted a major hawala racket and seized Rs 90.5 lakh in cash. The unaccounted cash is being handed over to the Income Tax department for further investigation about its source and destination. A probe is on to find out if the money was meant for electioneering.
Four persons -- identified as Devesh Kothari (43), Bhakti Prajapati (33), Khan Bilal Naseem (27), and Vishal Jain (24) -- were also apprehended from different locations in Kacheguda and Sultan Bazar.
The four were held during one of the vehicle checks conducted by the East Zone task force, said Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar. “The persons were found to be carrying huge amounts of unaccounted cash without a genuine purpose due to which they were apprehended,” he said.
Deep pockets? The accused were found wearing exclusively designed shirts with pockets, meant for carrying the cash, stitched on the inside.“They were wearing a specially-designed shirt like clothing which had pockets stitched for carrying cash. Rs 1 crore cash could be carried in every piece of such a clothing,” added the commissioner.
Anjani Kumar further appealed to the general public that with the Model Code of Conduct for the 2019 General Elections is in force, public meetings and rallies should not be organised without taking due permission from the election commission. Further, he advised the people who need to travel while carrying cash, should ensure that they also carry relevant documents pertinent to the money, until the elections are completed. “Regular vehicle checks will be conducted and strict surveillance will be maintained,” he said.