NEW DELHI: Twenty eight bank accounts in Tamil Nadu and 81 in Kerala, operated by scamsters, could be linked to the recent hawala haul in Kolkata, reveals a note prepared by the country’s external spy agency, R&AW. The note says these accounts were “hired” from people on monthly rent to launder money made by defrauding gullible individuals. Details available with the intelligence agency show that 18 bank accounts in Andhra Pradesh were also hired to mask the illegal activities.
“Forty five bank accounts in Odisha and eight in Karnataka are also suspected to be linked to the underworld-hawala network. Most of these accounts are in public sector banks but racketeers have also used private banks in some cases. The problem is rising and requires urgent enforcement intervention,” the note stresses. The lottery fraud, invented by Dawood Ibrahim gang in Pakistan, is today a multi-billion racket which involves hundreds of foot soldiers and can be termed the most extensive con operation in the world. The intelligence input suggests that money generated through the elaborate telephone bank hawala structure is channelled to Pakistan through a circuitous route.
It is estimated that around Rs 4,190 crore was laundered by the underworld network to Pakistan. These accounts generally transact Rs 1 lakh-1.50 lakh per day and the money is eventually handed over to the handler for further hawala transactions.
Several names, including that of ‘Lottery King’ Santiago Martin and Nagarajan, are out in the open after the coordinated operation busted the racket in Kolkata. The raids also brought several companies, suspected to be fronts for the racket, under the scanner. One such company, ‘Future Plus Enterprise Private Limited’, has very vague ‘wholesale’ business activities. Other companies like General Systems and Tista too have similarly vague wholesale business activities without any specific product.