Rs 5,000-cr hawala racket: Surat cops arrest ‘mastermind’

Jain’s arrest was made months after he was named in an FIR filed by a private bank in Surat for duping them of Rs 104.60 crore.

By: Express News Service | Surat | Published:July 8, 2014 1:26 pm

Surat police arrested the absconding alleged hawala operator and reported aide of Afroz Fatta, Mumbai-based diamond trader Madanlal Jain, in connection with the alleged Rs 5,000-crore hawala racket case, in Mumbai on Monday.  Jain’s arrest was made months after he was named in an FIR filed by a private bank in Surat for duping them of Rs 104.60 crore.

Utpal Dave, an official of the ICICI bank, Ring road branch in Surat, had lodged a complaint with Surat city Crime Branch on April 11, alleging that Mumbai residents, Shailesh Patel and Aniket Ambekar, who run a firm by the name of R A Distributors, are into import and export of rough and polished diamonds and had cheated the bank to the tune of Rs 104.60 crore. The duo had opened the firm’s office at Navkar Building in Mahidharpura in Surat and had opened an account with ICICI bank.

According to the complaint, the firm had sent the money to five different companies, like MABROOK Trading FZE in Dubai, Nippon Incorporated Limited in Hong Kong, Cornell Trading Limited in Hong Kong, Al Almas FZE limited in Hong Kong, Al Saba General trading FZE in Dubai and Daimur Gems and Jewellery limited in Hong Kong, between December 13, 2013 and February 24, 2014.

The firm had submitted 17 bills of entry with fake stamps and also forged signatures of customs officials and port clearance documents to send the money.  While sending the money outside India, Shailesh Patel and Aniket had told bank officials that they had imported rough diamonds on credit and are sending the due payment to the firms in Hong Kong and Dubai. The incident came to light when Enforcement Directorate officials, during investigations of Hawala racket, found that R A Distributors had also sent money illegally to Hong Kong and Dubai. The ED officials had sealed the office of R A Distributors after learning about the cheating by the firm owners.

During investigations, Surat police learnt that Madanlal Jain was one of the main persons involved in the hawala racket case, following which, police started tracing him, carrying out raids at each and every possible place in Mumbai. After getting a tip-off, Surat police rushed to Mumbai on Monday and arrested Madanlal Jain from his rented flat in Pradeep Building, Worli Hill road at Worli in Mumbai. He was brought to Surat under strict security on Monday evening.  Earlier, ED officials had grilled Jain for several times in Mumbai. Fatta was earlier arrested by the ED officials. He is lodged at Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad.

Surat city Crime Branch Deputy Commissioner of Police Antrip Sood said, “We have got a big breakthrough in the case with the arrest of Madanlal Jain, who deals with the import and exports of diamonds with the help of fake firms and runs hawala racket. He was staying in a rented house. We will try to dig out more details form him during his remand period.”

Surat city Crime Branch police inspector B K Vanar said, “All documents produced with the customs and bank are fake with forged signature of customs officials and fake stamp. They have showed that they had brought diamonds through shipping at Port in Mumbai. We have cross-checked and found that the shipping company bill, which they had produced with banks, is also fake. We have also found that these persons had not imported any rough and polished diamonds from foreign countries, but they had sent Rs 104.60 crore illegally to firms in Dubai and Hong Kong. We have sent one team to Mumbai to trace Patel and Ambekar.”

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