Rs 500 cr hawala scam exposed in Thane

Hawla Story

Thane : In probably first of the major exposure of hawala racket post demonetisation, Thane rural police have raided an office premises and unearthed a scam involving Rs 500 crore. It was revealed that the documents of office boys and junior staffers were used by their employer to transfer large amounts of money out of the country.

According to the Bhayandar Police, the scam, worth more than Rs 500 crore, was headed by a chartered accountant identified as Rajesh Agarwal. Agarwal was aided by his collegue Rajeev Gupta. The police have found documents that prove Agarwal floated six companies in the names of his office employees, opened bank accounts in their names and initiated transactions using their details. Their office boys and the peons were told that their details were needed to open salary accounts in their name.

Agarwal and Gupta have been operating the racket for the last two years, the Bhaynder police said. Agarwal is owner of a firm in Kandivali, while Gupta worked out of Kalbadevi.

After receiving the documents from their employees, the duo would open various accounts in different banks, fraudulently acquire documents needed to set up a company and initiate financial transactions. According to the police they had transferred at least Rs 30 crores from one company account.

Cops suspect that they had floated at least 15 such companies and were routing black money out of India.
The DRI and the Income Tax department were already on the trail of Agarwal and had issued many notices in the name of the directors of the various companies. Each time the employees received the notices, Agarwal would reassure them that they had been sent the notices by mistake, and that he would get the same rectified.

Binu Varghese and Pradeep Bhatia , two social activists had alerted the Thane Police about the scam, and after gathering enough evidence, they registered a case against Agarwal and his associates.

DCP Mahesh Patil ( Thane Rural) said, ” This is just the tip of the ice berg and we are expecting more arrests soon.”