VISAKHAPATNAM/ELURU: Two days after the Rs 569-crore illegal hawala operations came to light in Visakhapatnam, the city police arrested the kingpin of the scam, Vaddi Mahesh, on Sunday.
The case has been transferred to the CID. According to Dwaraka sub-division ACP P Ramachandra Rao, Vaddi Mahesh was apprehended at Visakhapatnam airport on Saturday and arrested on Sunday. In all likelihood, he will be produced before the court on Monday.
CID officials from Visakhapatnam detained brothers Achanta Rajesh and his brother Achanta Harish of Peravali in West Godavari district for their alleged involvement in a money laundering case. The duo’s father, who runs a hotel, incurred heavy losses, but as the two were unemployed, their friend Vaddi Mahesh and his father Srinivasa Rao offered them jobs and took them to Visakhapatnam.
Visakhapanam ACP (Dwaraka sub-division) said the CID would investigate the case not only in India, but also abroad and only then can the amount of money that was laundered through 30 bank accounts be ascertained.Vaddi Mahesh, a native of West Godavari district, who was living in Kolkata, shifted his base to Visakhapatnam in 2015.
He had opened 12 fake companies, including two in Visakhapatnam. Cash transactions took place through 30 bank accounts, including 22 in Visakhapatnam. Vaddi Mahesh, his father and brothers, all natives of West Godavari district, lived in Srikakulam for some years before shifting to Kolkata. They, along with Prasanta Kumar Roy Barman and Praveen Kumar Jha, both chartered accountants from Kolkatta, helped floated the fake companies and remitting the money to foreign banks.
Meanwhile, other accused Ayush Goel, Vineet Goenka and Vikar Gupta, suspected to be businessmen from Kolkata, helped Mahesh procure the money for the hawala transactions.
Police suspect that Mahesh was in the illegal trade from 2013 and has transferred around Rs 1,000 crore till 2015. The analysis of the bank accounts pertaining to the accused indicated a total domestic remittance of Rs 680.94 crore, between 2015 and 2016 and of this Rs 569.93 crore was remitted to five foreign companies in China, Singapore and Hong Kong fraudulently.