Tuesday, December 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India





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Hawala racket unearthed
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 30
In a major crackdown on hawala operators throughout the state, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today unearthed a Rs 31 lakh hawala money racket and seized cash and valuable items to the tune of Rs 16 lakh. The ED has also sealed two bank accounts through which the hawala money was suspected to have been transacted during the past year.

Mr B.C. Mahay, Assistant Director of the directorate, told this correspondent that special ED teams conducted raids on various places and seized hawala money and valuable items worth Rs 16 lakh.

He said the teams raided the residence of Mohinder Singh at Churchak village in Moga and seized Rs 1 lakh. “Mohinder Singh had received Rs 5 lakh through a hawala operator based in Jalandhar about 10 days ago. We have seized Rs 1 lakh from his residence while the rest of the money has reportedly been spent by him,” Mr Mahay said.

In another raid, Rs 50,000 was seized from the residence of Pritam Singh of Shapur village in Fatehgarh Sahib district. According to ED officials, he received Rs 7.32 lakh through hawala channels.

A Balero jeep, allegedly purchased by Gurdial Singh of Bhanoki village in Phagwara, using the hawala money was confiscated by the ED officials. Though no recovery was made during a raid on the residence of Avtar Singh of Bulandpur village in Jalandhar, it was found during preliminary investigation that he had been paid Rs 7 lakh through hawala channels about a month ago.

The ED officials also seized Rs 45,000 from the residence of Avtar Singh of Kakipind in Jalandhar.

The ED officials had registered cases against five persons under Section 3 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
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