In one of the biggest cash seizures in the State since the model code of conduct came into force, the Hyderabad police seized ₹7.51 crore of unaccounted hawala cash from four persons in three different locations in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
On a tip-off, the sleuths of Commissioner’s task force (west zone) along with Saifabad Police, Flying Squad and Static Surveillance team intercepted a luxury car at NTR Marg around 4 a.m.
They found Ashish Kumar Ahuja (23) of Naveen Nagar, who was behind the wheel, in possession of a bag. When checked, the cops found currency bundles of ₹2,000 and ₹500 denominations valued ₹2 crore stuffed in the bag, said Hyderabad Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar. Further, ₹5.5. crore was recovered from two more places belonging to his associates in Banjara Hills and Joshiwada, Shahinayathgunj here.
The other accused are Mohd Azam(31) from Bahadurpura, Sunil Kumar (50), father of Ashish, of Naveen Nagar and Bahbut Singh Raj Purohit (46) of Joshiwadi. Apart from several documents and laptops, the police also seized a non-prohibited bore revolver from Purohit.
During interrogation, the accused admitted that the money was being brought from different states to Hyderabad as part of ‘Hawala’ transaction, to be distributed across Telangana, Mr. Kumar said. “The unaccounted cash came from other States and abroad through Hawala channels to be used in forthcoming legislative assembly election,” he said.
On several occasions, the money was transferred online into the accounts of shell companies of Hawala Operators, he said. Police is making efforts to apprehend the absconding Jayesh Patel, Shailesh, Kishan Lal Chand and Vidya Sagar.
“This money would have been used for bribing the voters involved in the election process. The seizure details are being intimated to the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department so that they can examine the trail of financial transactions and involvement of Shell companies, Mr. Kumar said.
The Static Surveillance Team of the Suryapet police has seized ₹24.25 lakh cash observing restriction of cash movement during poll code, here on Wednesday.
The Kodad rural officers posted at the Ramapuram inter-State border check post said, they caught Kanneganti Srinivas Rao from Addanki in Andhra Pradesh with huge unaccounted cash. He was going to Hyderabad via Vijayawada in his car.
As Mr. Rao, a businessman, could not produce any supporting evidence of the cash source or the purpose of movement, the amount was seized by the revenue and police authorities.
Election officials stressed that individuals cannot carry more than ₹50, 000 in cash during the code, however, in case of emergency which warrants transfer of more cash, they could seek permission of the Returning Officer concerned.
In another seizure in Jogulamba Gadwal district, Static Surveillance Team stopped a car coming towards Hyderabad for checking and found ₹3-lakh cash with the occupants.