The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday arrested the suspected kingpin of a cattle smuggling racket in connection with an ongoing probe.
Muhammad Enamul Haque was arrested on Friday morning in Delhi. The arrest came just a day after a team of CBI officials carried out search operations at five locations in Kolkata. Haque was the first to be arrested in the case and many more were in the pipeline, said an official.
The agency had conducted raids at 15 places in several cities, including Delhi, Kolkata, Siliguri, Murshidabad, Ghaziabad, Amritsar and Raipur on Thursday after filing a case against BSF Commandant Satish Kumar of the 36 BSF Battalion and traders Anarul SK, Mohammad Golam Mostafa, and Haque.
Sources in the agency said a strong nexus worked to carry out cattle smuggling. In January 2018, the CBI arrested BSF commandant Jibu Mathew at the Alappuzha railway station and found Rs 47 lakh cash on him. The money was found to be disproportionate to his income, and during interrogation, Haque’s name cropped up.
The businessman was arrested and later released on bail.
Based on the 2018 probe, CBI launched a preliminary inquiry to investigate a larger conspiracy as well as the role played by Kumar. The agency then registered an FIR on Monday in which Kumar and the BSF at large were indicted.
According to sources, Haque’s net worth is at least Rs 1,000 crore. He owns properties in Lalgola and Raghunathganj in Murshidabad district, Kolkata and Dubai.
He started with money exchange and gradually shifted to cattle smuggling. He is suspected to have been playing a major role in transborder cattle smuggling operations for many years. This brought him under the scanner of several investigation agencies.
The hawala network operated by cattle smugglers has links to Dubai and other countries in West Asia, according to sources. In an earlier probe, the Enforcement Directorate allegedly found that Haque was using four to five of his companies to run the hawala network.
Annually, thousands of cattle are smuggled from India to Bangladesh, which ensures a significant supply of protein in the neighbouring country. The smuggling increases exponentially during the Eid-ul Azha because of a rise in demand.
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