Delhi Police may contact their Mumbai counterparts to trace the hawala trail which is believed to be the source of the money robbed in the Lajpat Nagar heist with suspicions now arising over businessman Rajesh Kalra’s alleged Dubai links. Delhi Police have tumbled upon Kalra’s alleged links to bookies in London and Dubai and it has also been found thatthe businessman had close ties with actor Vindoo Dara Singh, who is facing charges in the IPL match fixing case.
Kalra’s phone records suggest he was in constant touch with people in Dubai, Jaipur, Mumbai and London, police said. A day before the robbery, Kalra had spoken to a Dubai number for around 20 minutes, police sources said.
Meanwhile, senior officials of the South-East district police and Crime Branch today questioned several people, including employees of Kalra, his manager and businessman Rakesh Kumar at Special Staff Office at Madangir. “We also questioned Kalra’s business partner Rahul Ahuja, but there is still no breakthrough in the case,” said a senior police officer.
Police suspect that among Kalra’s contacts were Chandresh Jain alias Jupiter, a Jaipur-based bookie who was arrested over the IPL spot-fixing scandal, and London-based bookie Sanjeev Chawla, whose name had cropped up as the main fixer in the 2000 Hansie Cronje match fixing case. With reports emerging of Kalra’s strong connections with betting circles, police are also probing any possible betting racket related to the ongoing India-New Zealand cricket series.
Doubts have also been raised over the actual amount robbed on Tuesday with police saying it could have been much more than the stated figure of Rs 8 crore with police saying foreign currency may have also been a part of the loot. Police said they were now checking the bank accounts in which the looted cash was supposed to have been deposited.
The case may be referred to Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department once the gang behind the robbery is caught with police saying that the victims are yet to provide a satisfactory explanation about the source of the money.
Meanwhile, CCTV footage of the crime scene has revealed that the Honda City car, which was robbed by around half-a- dozen armed assailants, was being followed by the Hyundai Verna and Wagon R car. At least three of the assailants were visible in the CCTV footage, but they could not be identified.
Based on the description provided by the victims and police informers, four sketches of suspects have been circulated amongst sleuths and police forces of the neighbouring states. Police said that their main focus is to arrest the people behind the robbery as they believe that would go a long way towards answering the questions raised by the case.Meanwhile, police teams continued to raid possible hideouts in Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh in search of the suspects.
Police have questioned hundreds of people in the last two days, including several inmates of Tihar and other jails, but no arrests have been made so far.Investigators have found that the Honda City was being tailed by three other employees of Kalra in an I-20 car which, however, was held up at a traffic signal.
But during questioning, the responses of Sandeep, one of the occupants in the I-20, were found to be contradictory and he is under the scanner in the case, police said. Tuesday’s robbery, one of the biggest in the national capital in terms of the money involved, was carried out in a matter of minutes with the robbers fleeing with Rs 7.69 crore cash in broad daylight near Lajpat Nagar Metro station.