Police investigation into the daring daylight heist near Moolchand in South Delhi has revealed that Rajesh Kalra, an alleged south Delhi bookie who lost Rs 4.69 crore in the robbery, has connections in Dubai.
The police are already suspecting an alleged ‘hawala’ link into the Rs8 crore cash that was looted on Tuesday at the busy intersection.
Though top Delhi Police officers, including the commissioner of police, remained tight-lipped and refused to share any details, police sources told HT that the investigators were very close to cracking the case. They claimed investigators got some leads related to the identity of the robbers involved in the crime.
The scrutiny of Kalra’s cell phone records have revealed that he was constantly receiving calls from his contacts in Dubai, said a police source. A majority of the calls were made through the Internet while a few of them were made from a private number. The last call he had received on his phone was made a day before the armed heist that was executed on Tuesday morning.
Ironically, police investigation revealed that the cash was collected by seven employees of Kalra and his business partner Rakesh Kumar Sharma from some Chandni Chowk-based businessmen on the instructions of an alleged hawala operator based in Mumbai.
The entire investigation is being conducted by three different wings of the Delhi police. While the Special Cell has been asked to probe the alleged hawala link involving betting syndicates operating during cricket matches and Kalra’s Dubai connection, the crime branch team is looking for different gangs of robbers operating in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, who could have executed the meticulously planned robbery.
Teams from the southeast and south district police are probing the involvement of local criminals.
"Ascertaining the involvement of a Mewati gang is an important area of investigation on which the crime branch teams are focussing. They feel that the modus operandi applied during the heist is a signature style of Mewati robbers. There have been instances in the past where Mewati robbers hit vehicles of their targets forcing them to stop. They mostly use pistols or revolvers to scare victims," said an investigating officer. The robbers involved in the heist were communicating in the Haryanvi language and one of them had draped a woollen shawl, the officer said.
Senior police officers maintained that neither Kalra nor Sharma were cooperating in establishing the source of the money.
Investigators found that the registration number of the Honda City car that was stolen along with around Rs8 crore was ‘fake’, sources said. The car was recovered later in the day from near the Sewa Nagar railway crossing in Lodhi Colony.
Investigators have learnt that Kalra reportedly runs a Chit Fund company in which his investors are bookies from south, southeast, west, north and east Delhi. Police are probing if the same chit-fund company was being used for hawala transactions and money laundering.