‘World hawala king’ Naresh Jain held
Naresh Chandra Jain, the alleged head of a global hawala racket of over Rs 5,000 crore, was arrested on Sunday by the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate, reports Manish Tiwari.india Updated: Dec 07, 2009 09:02 IST
Naresh Chandra Jain, the alleged head of a global hawala racket of over Rs 5,000 crore, was arrested on Sunday by the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate.
Hawala is a system or agency for transferring money across borders, bypassing legitimate avenues and, thereby, circumventing all rules relating to foreign exchange transactions.
Jain — whom Directorate officials described as ‘the world’s undisputed hawala king’ — has also been on the watchlist of security agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom for his alleged links with the underworld and the Al Qaeda. He is wanted in Italy for running a drug racket too.
“Jain was arrested early this morning from his house at Pitampura in west Delhi,” said a top Directorate official. “We have substantial evidence against him.”
The net has been closing in on Jain for some time. He allegedly ran his hawala network from Dubai for 20 years, with branches across the world, but shifted operations to Delhi after he was briefly arrested in Dubai eight months ago.
The US government froze his New York bank account claiming it was drug money. In September, the Directorate raided eight of his offices in Delhi.
Jain’s brothers, Bimal and Satpal, are also being investigated, Directorate officials said.
Directorate sources claimed that Jain’s hawala network had branches in Nigeria, Italy, Hong Kong, Dubai, China, Bolivia and the Congo.
Directorate investigations have claimed that Jain invested around Rs 100 crore in properties around Delhi.
Jain has denied all the charges, claiming that he is a legitimate businessman who is being framed.
India was under pressure from security agencies in the US and elsewhere to act against Jain.