Rs 570 crore hawala scam unearthed in Visakhapatnam
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Rs 570 crore hawala scam unearthed in Visakhapatnam

The accused had created 12 bogus companies in Visakhapatnam and Kolkata and used 30 of its bank accounts to launder money.

india Updated: May 13, 2017 10:50 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
hawala,crore,Money Laundering
The police suspect that the magnitude of the hawala transactions could be much larger.(AP FILE PHOTO)

The Visakhapatnam police on Friday booked a case against nine persons for allegedly laundering Rs 570 crore by floating shell companies and making fraudulent remittances into them through hawala transactions.

Following a complaint by the joint director of income tax (investigations) M V N Seshu Bhavannarayana, the MVP Colony police in the city filed cases against the nine persons, including Vaddi Mahesh, a resident of Kolkata and native of Srikakulam and who is supposedly the kingpin, and his father Vaddi Srinivasa Rao, proprietor of a stone crusher unit of Srikakulam.

Achanta Harish, Chanta Rajesh, Prasanta Kumar Roy Barman, Praveen Kumar Jha, Ayush Goel, Vineet Goenka and Visas Guptha were the other accused who were booked along with the two under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 120 b (criminal conspiracy), 465 (punishment for forgery), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using a forged document as genuine).

Sources said the police had taken 24-year old Vaddi Mahesh into custody and were interrogating him. The police suspect that the magnitude of his hawala transactions could be much larger.

According to the complaint, the accused had created false and forged documents, and established about 12 bogus companies in Visakhapatnam and Kolkata. They opened 30 bank accounts in the names of these companies at various places.

Inquiries by the income tax department and a preliminary investigation by the police revealed that Vaddi Mahesh opened many proprietary concerns and partnership firms in the names of his employees for transfer of funds, and claimed huge turnovers.

An analysis of the bank accounts of the accused indicated a total inward domestic remittance of Rs 680.94 crore, out of which an amount of Rs 569.93 crore had been remitted fraudulently to five companies in China, Singapore and Hong Kong towards purchase of customised software.

Investigations revealed that this amount was remitted into a single bank account, from where it was diverted to various other accounts.

“This was done using forged documents. No software was ever imported from these companies,” the police said, adding that the accused had violated the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act. “Investigation is being done in India as well as abroad,” they said.

First Published: May 13, 2017 10:50 IST