A special designated court on Monday issued non bailable warrant (NBW) against Mumbai-based bullion trader Prithviraj Kothari in connection with the Rs10,000-crore hawala scam that has its base in Surat.
Kothari runs Ridhi Sidhi bullions. His nephew is already in judicial custody at Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad. Since ED busted the racket last year the case has emerged as the biggest case of money laundering in the country.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Ahmedabad, moved an application before the special designation court under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) seeking issuance of NBW against Kothari after he reportedly failed to appear before the agency. Lawyers who represented Kothari opposed the move and following a brief argument the court allowed ED’s application and issued NBW against Kothari.
The move has its significance since Kothari is said to be the key link of hawala racket which was busted last year in Surat. A total of 90 persons have been booked in the case so far.
Recently the ED investigation revealed that the case has its link with the 2G scam with money in the scam was sent abroad the through the racket in Surat. Sources said that Fatta was working at the behest of Kothari and his nephew was the one who used to send money to Fatta which would go mostly to Dubai and Hong Kong. The role of Fatta was to submit forged import documents or bills of entry of diamonds in ICICI Bank in Surat and send money against it to Dubai and Hong Kong.