Free Press Journal

ED team reaches Katni to probe hawala racket


Bhopal : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, on Saturday, reached Katni to investigate the alleged hawala racket in which funds to the tune of Rs 500 crore were illegally routed using fake bank accounts post-demonetisation. The agency reached Katni and started probe into the case, a top officer told PTI.

Two days ago, the agency registered a case under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) taking cognizance of four FIRs registered by Madhya Pradesh Police and a recommendation sent in this regard by the state government to ED headquarters in Delhi earlier.

The agency’s team of officials from its offices in Indore and Mumbai are taking help of Katni Police who had registered the first case based on complaints. The case had assumed political overtones after Katni Superintendent of Police Gaurav Tiwari, considered to be instrumental in taking the probe into the case forward, was transferred on January 9 to Chhindwara by the government.

Under the said hawala racket, fake accounts were allegedly opened in a private bank branch under which scrapped old notes were deposited in Katni district.

A state government spokesperson had earlier said: “Some elements have exchanged currency (old notes) through fake bank accounts at a bank at Katni by forging the documents. The state government has decided that ED should be urged to look into all these cases.”

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said the police have limited powers to probe such matters, but their investigation would continue. “So, we are informing the ED about these cases,” Chouhan had told reporters last week here. —PTI