Hyderabad Police have busted a major hawala racket and seized Rs 7.51 crore in cash which was being used for illegal transfer to different locations of poll-bound Telangana to bribe voters. The elections will be held on December 7.
Based on a tip-off, a joint operation was conducted on Wednesday by Saifabad police, Flying Squads, City Task Force and Static Surveillance Teams. They arrested four people from a building at Rotary Circle near NTR Marg in Hyderabad.
The accused have been identified as Sunil Kumar Ahuja (50), Ashish Kumar (23), Mohd Azam (31) and Bahbut Singh Raj Purohit (46). The investigators have also recovered a .32 NP bore revolver, a cash counting machines, two laptops and several chequebooks of different banks.
"The hawala operators were working and planning to distribute several crore rupees in Telangana. This money is coming from other States and abroad through hawala channels illegally for use in the forthcoming Legislative Assembly Elections - 2018 in Telangana. Sometimes the amounts have been transferred online into the accounts of shell companies of hawala operators," the police said.
According to the police, Sunil was the commander of the racket, while Ashish used to look after the accounts. Ashish was in the US and had returned earlier this year. They used to provide fake documents and open bank accounts on the name of Mohd Azam, for which Azam collected his commission to make easy money.
"Because of the sensitivity and gravity of the case, it was decided to transfer the case to the Central Crime Station and entrust the investigation to a senior officer of the rank of ACP under the direct supervision of a DCP-rank officer. The Hyderabad City police are committed to ensuring a free and fair election process. We will not allow any individual or political party to influence the election by use of cash," the police said, The News Minute reported.