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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Illegal remittance scam: How one-room ‘firms’ in Mumbai laundered money worth Rs2,200 crore

The group of 13 firms were operating several current accounts in various branches of banks across Opera house, Fort, Crawford Market

mumbai Updated: Apr 27, 2018 10:30 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times
The Surat Street houses two companies - Lemon trading company and Lubeez enterprises.
The Surat Street houses two companies - Lemon trading company and Lubeez enterprises. (HT File)

The narrow by lanes of Masjid Bundar, Abdul Rehman Street and Surat Street in South Mumbai housed eight of the 13 companies involved in the illegal remittance scam, accounting around Rs2,200 crore, in which the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Hawala operator Mohammed Farooq, 39.

It was business as usual on Thursday, when HT visited these locations. Four companies—Apollo enterprises, Kundan Trading, Disney International, and Padilite traders – were operating out of a one-room office at 12A, on the first floor of Bhagubhai chamber at Sayeed Mukri street near Masjid railway station.

“Two years back, the nameplates of the companies would change frequently on the door,” said a man working in the nearby premises, when this HT correspondent visited the place.

“They wanted to show that the company exists,” the man added.

The new tenants are facing because of the frequent visits made by the investigating agencies to the premises.

“The current person who is running a fishing business is planning to empty the premises soon. Another firm which had hired the place also had left quickly,” said another person working in the building.

A few kilometers away from Sayeed Mukri street, to the east of Masjid railway station, is the Surat street located at the famous P D’Mello road. Two companies– Lemon trading and Lubeez enterprises, were located in the street. The office of Lemon trading was locked.

“It is locked since we moved here a year ago, and we haven’t seen anyone from the firm coming here,” said a person from the building.

The office of Lubeez enterprises could not be determined. The premises of Stelkon Infratel Ltd (SIPL) and Anek trading located on the same address at Abdul Rehman Street, has been rented out to a workshop where the workers were clueless about the existence of any such company.

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 10:30 IST

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