Wednesday 13 February 2013

Pakistan-linked hawala racket busted in Uttarakhand, 132 ATM cards recovered

The police today claimed to have busted a hawala racket having links with Pakistan with the arrest of one of its agents from Roorkee in Haridwar district.

Jai Prakash Ruhela, a native of Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by a joint team of officials on February 10 when he was on his way to withdraw money from an ATM, DIG (Dehradun range) Amit Sinha said today.

Rupees 4,72,000 cash, 132 ATM cards of various banks, a luxury car, a two wheeler, four mobile phones and SIM cards were also recovered from his residence, the DIG said.

During questioning, Ruhela admitted to be part of a syndicated module operating from across the border and engaged in illegal routing of Indian money abroad.

Ruhela further told his network had set up units across India and he was working as its North zone head, Sinha said. He disclosed names of other zonal heads, agents and hawala traders associated with the network, and said the racket has appointed agents in various states including Uttarakhand, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Orissa, Bihar and Rajasthan.

Explaining the modus operandi of the network, Sinha said its agents, through the call centres, would contact people on their cellphone and lure them with misleading offers of winning prize money in lucky draws.

The agents would then ask them to submit a processing fee to facilitate remittance of the 'prize money', which would then be routed through hawala, Sinha said.

The DIG said a cash reward has been announced for the team which busted the module, adding efforts are being made to arrest the other members of the network from various states.

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