Saturday, July 20, 2024

Bihar: International hawala racket busted; 3 arrested

Three persons have been arrested in Bihar’s Siwan for their alleged involvement in the operation of an international hawala racket, an official said on Sunday, adding that “transactions to the tune of Rs 1 crore were being made to Pakistan almost daily”.

Siwan district Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Sinha said an FIR has been registered in the cyber police station of the district.

“We learnt that some persons of Gopalganj district assembled at the house of Harendra Singh in Brahma Asthan village and kept Hawala money. Accordingly, we raided the place on Saturday and arrested Sheikh Salim (Gopalganj), Rajesh Kumar (Gopalganj) and Manu Kumar (Siwan),” the police officer said.

Three other individuals — Raj Kumar Sharma – the kingpin, Vishwajeet Kumar and Aftab, however, managed to escape.

The police have recovered a rifle, a revolver, a Mahindra SUV, 19 debit cards, one credit card, Rs 2.67 lakh cash, 6 mobile phones, a swipe machine, laptop, a digital camera, 22 SIM cards, PAN cards, and a large number of passbooks.

During questioning, it was learned that some of them had gone to Saudi Arabia to look for jobs during which they came in contact with some people, including those from Pakistan.

After they returned from Saudi Arabia, they started the Hawala racket in Siwan.

“They obtained passbooks of the under-privileged villagers and used to receive money from other countries, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. After taking the commission, they convert it to any other foreign currency and send them again to different countries,” Sinha said.

“They used to transfer money with the same modus operandi to Pakistan to the tune of Rs 1 crore almost every day. We are taking the help of cyber experts to know where they have sent money so far. The bank transfer and exchange of money is under investigation,” Sinha said.

The police officer further said they are trying to arrest the kingpin, Raj Kumar Sharma.

“He will put some more light on this international nexus. There could be terror funding links as well,” Sinha said.

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