BHOPAL: Is Jabalpur town of Madhya Pradesh turning out to be a hub of hawala operations? A survey by the Income Tax department at the premises of a prominent businessman in Jabalpur has unearthed a suspected hawala racket worth over Rs 4000 crores.
According to Income Tax department sources in Bhopal, the suspected racket which has come to the fore in Jabalpur during survey conducted at the premises of a private business consultant is perhaps the biggest hawala racket busted ever in MP and Chhattisgarh.
The development assumes significance as it has come ahead of Lok Sabha elections, particularly when the enforcement departments, including the IT department are engaged in crackdown against black money funding of the general elections.
Importantly, another suspected hawala racket worth around Rs 1500 crore had come to the fore during IT department action against a toy trader in Jabalpur before last year’s assembly polls. Also, in 2017 another suspected hawala racket worth over Rs 500 crore had come to the fore in Katni town, around 100 km from Jabalpur.
A senior IT department official at MP & Chhattisgarh HQ told The New Indian Express that the department sleuths started a survey a couple of days back on the premises of the Jabalpur-based private business consultant, which led to seizure of Rs 65 lakh unaccounted cash.
The survey was subsequently converted into proper search, which has so far led to details which point towards the businessman being part of hawala transactions worth over Rs 4000 crores.
Sources in the department claimed Lalwani who used to charge Rs 300 per one lakh of illegal money transfer as commission has earned around 6.5 crore in last six years. The nexus spanned to various states in the country, sources added. The unlawful transactions of the racket ranged from 4-5 lakhs to over Rs one crore.
During investigations, the IT sleuths have found thousands of entries of the illegal transactions from the computer of the Jabalpur based trader. They also found some paper entries of recent transactions. The trader though his agents used to collect cash from businesses from the region and sent it out of the state through his men.
The ongoing probe by the IT department, however, hasn’t as yet revealed any possibility of political funding or any terror funding being linked to the suspected hawala racket busted recently.