A year-and-a-half after the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), the financial fraud investigation department of the Mumbai police, was disassociated from the crime branch and provided with a separate inspector general-rank chief, it has not got an additional deputy commissioner of police (DCP).
The move was announced on Wednesday, during the routine transfers of DCPs, with the EOW having been given an officer for exclusively supervising the alleged Rs5,600-crore National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) fraud that involves alleged misappropriation and embezzlement of funds.
The EOW officials have arrested 24 people in the case, recovered Rs356.88 crore till date and attached immovable property worth more than Rs4,902.18 crore.
The NSEL case and its investigation will now continue under the supervision of DCP S Jayakumar, who had been with the EOW. Jayakumar was also part of the team that inquired into the finances and fund usage by televangelist Zakir Naik and other companies associated with Naik and his non-profit, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).
The confidential report formed the core part of the main report that the state government submitted to the Centre against Naik that ultimately led to a five-year ban on the IRF.
Other fraud cases being probed by 12 of the EOW units will now be headed by DCP Sandip Karnik, who was transferred from Zone II of the Mumbai police.
Karnik will be replaced by Dnyaneshwar Chavan, who has been transferred from the city police’s intelligence wing, the Special Branch (SB). Chavan is another officer who was part of the inquiry conducted by the SB against Naik. The SB had rummaged through Naik’s speeches and written material.
SB had gathered evidence pertaining to the view Naik had on slain al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, who was extolled by the televangelist. This and other material, including Naik’s sermons and speeches, concluded that the oratory was inflammatory and divisive for the country’s multi-religious fabric.
A senior Mumbai police officer said, “Transfers are routine and were due to take place.”