The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday got the custody of suspected cattle smuggling kingpin Enamul Haque till December 24.
“He has been remanded to jail custody till December 24,” said a source in the CBI. The Calcutta High Court issued the order.
A Border Security Force (BSF) official was arrested in connection with the case last month, and more have been questioned. Haque allegedly ran the transborder racket with the help of BSF and Customs officials.
In a High Court order on November 24, Haque was told to surrender in a special CBI court in Asansol in Paschim Bardhaman district within seven days of testing negative for Covid-19. He complied with the order and was sent to judicial custody.
The businessman first came under the CBI’s scanner after the arrest of BSF commandant Jibu Mathew at the Alappuzha railway station in January 2018. He had 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 Satish Kumar, the former commandant of the border force’s 36 Battalion. Kumar was arrested on November 17.
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 Haque 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 network.