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Money exchanger found dead in office

A 54-year-old money exchanger was found murdered under mysterious circumstances at his office in Tilak Nagar market on Wednesday afternoon. HT reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2011 00:09 IST
HT Correspondent

A 54-year-old money exchanger was found murdered under mysterious circumstances at his office in Tilak Nagar market on Wednesday afternoon.

The victim Gurcharan Singh Sawhney, a resident of A2/109, Rajouri Garden, was found strangulated to death on the first floor of his A8-Tilak Nagar market office.

A computer cable was found tied around his neck and his left wrist was also slit using a surgical blade. Three PCR calls were received one after the other in a span of 5 minutes regarding the incident and the last was made at 1.50 pm. Police have ruled out robbery as the motive behind the murder, as cash worth around Rs 3.5 lakh (Rs 2 lakh kept inside a laptop bag and Rs 1.5 lakh inside the locker) and gold jewellry items worn by the victim were found intact.

Though police are yet to establish the identity of the perpetrators, they are looking for five Nigerians who had visited Sawhney's office, around an hour prior to the murder, for exchanging dollar into Indian currency.

The CCTV camera installed inside Sawhney's office was damaged by the murderers. This indicates that the killers had conducted meticulous reconnaissance before executing their plan, police said.

Sawhney owned two franchises of Western Union money transfer that goes by his surname - one at Tilak Nagar market and another in Nawada area in west Delhi only. He is survived by his wife, a daughter who recently got married and is settled abroad, and a son who studies in the USA.

V Renganathan, additional commissioner of police (west) said the matter came to light when one Satish, a computer cartridges salesman, entered into Sawhney's office and found him lying near the counter table.

"Satish saw blood spilled across the area and some dollars were spread randomly. He immediately made a PCR call," said Renganathan, adding, "A PCR van reached the spot and rushed the victim to DDU Hospital where doctors pronounced him brought dead."

Jaspreet Singh, a local shopkeeper, said that except a few shops the entire market was closed because of Wednesday being a non-working day.

"Around 12.30 pm five Nigerians had come to Sawhney's shop for exchanging money. A few minutes later they left but returned again on the pretext of exchanging some more dollars. Sawhney asked Sonia, the only staff present in the office, to take them to his office in Nawada. They left with Sonia but four of them returned from Tilak Nagar Metro station. The fifth did go to Nawada with Sonia but surreptitiously disappeared from there," said Singh, adding, "Local shopkeepers are shocked and are in a state of fear because of the daring daylight murder."

A case of murder has been registered at Tilak Nagar police station and police are investigating it from all angles, including business rivalry and personal enmity.

Police have picked up three-four persons for questioning.