Rs 4 crore Hawala money ‘being delivered’ to Bhilwara Congress councilor seized by ATS, 1 arrested
The money was allegedly being transported to the congress councilor in Bhilwara Rauf and a businessman, identified as Deepak Samthani.
Jaipur: A joint team of Rajasthan anti-corruption bureau (ATS) and Income Tax department on Wednesday arrested an alleged employee of Bhilwara congress councilor, Fazle Rauf and seized a cash amount of Rs 4 crore from his possession at Shahpura Toll Plaza.
According to the officials, the money was being transported to the congress councilor and a businessman, identified as Deepak Samthani. Though preliminary investigation suggests that the money was being exchanged in a hawala transaction, but ATS is also probing if there was any terrorism angle.
ATS teams carried out raids at the houses and other places belonging to Rauf and his partner Deepak, but both have allegedly disappeared. Five teams reached Bhilwara around 9 am on Thursday and raided four places simultaneously. Rauf’s shop and rented home were found locked. There were reported that the ATS team seized a weapon and are trying to ascertain if it was licensed. Three other people including one Javed Rauf, a resident of Ajmer Road in Jaipur, are also under the scanner; however, they could not be found for questioning.
IG, ATS Vikas Kumar said that the money was being transported to Bhilwara. An ATS team intercepted a Srinath Travels bus at the toll plaza and searched one of the passengers, identified as Banwari Lal Mishra. Rs 4 crore was found from his possession. The money was in two bags. Most notes were in the domination Rs 2000. Banwari Lal, a resident of Bhilwara, allegedly confessed that he was taking the money to the Congress councilor in Bhilwara and it belonged to him and his partner. The ATS team informed the Income Tax department.
The ATS had launched Operation Kuber two months ago, suspecting funding to terror organizations by some trades in Bhilwara. They investigated the Hawala network active in Bhilwara, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi.