City-based hawala operator Purshottam Totlani, who was wanted in the sensational Syndicate Bank bribery case, on Wednesday surrendered before a special judge for CBI cases in Patiala House Court in Delhi. He was later sent to CBI remand for two days.
Lawyer Vineet Godha and his builder brother Puneet were arrested by the CBI sleuths while accepting a bribe of Rs 50 lakh on behalf of his brother in-law and former Syndicate Bank chief managing director (CMD) SK Jain. Totlani, who had allegedly arranged the money through hawala, had escaped.
CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad confirmed Totlani's surrender. "Totlani will be quizzed during his two-day remand about his involvement in the case," the spokesman said.
CBI officials suspect that Totlani might have transferred money to Godhas through his hawala racket earlier also at the behest of SK Jain. "According to our investigation, Totlani was involved in the hawala trade for quite some time. We are trying to find out whether Totlani transferred money to Godha brothers earlier," said a CBI officer, wishing not be quoted.
The officer said the statements of Godha brothers and their brother-in-law CMD Jain would be verified after Totlani's statement. "If it requires, Godha brothers and Jain would be quizzed again," said the officer.
It is also surmised that Totlani might reveal the names of several businessmen, political leaders and government officers for whom he had allegedly transferred money through his hawala racket.
The Delhi CBI team had earlier raided Totlani's house at Shyamla Hills and also carried out a search at various possible hideouts of Totlani in Bhopal and nearby areas.
Jain had allegedly demanded Rs 60 lakh from a private firm to extend its credit limit for the loan, bypassing the rules and regulations. The company had paid first installment of Rs 10 lakh through the Godha Brothers and Rs 50 lakh was to be paid later. On getting a tip-off that the money, to be paid to the CMD, was being sent to him through his brothers-in-law, the CBI's anti-corruption branch swung into action and caught Godha brothers.