Gujarat: Cash theft from AAP nominee’s car sends cops on hawala trail

On October 13, the driver of AAP’s Bardoli (30 km from Surat) candidate Rajendra Solanki had gotten down from the SUV he was driving to buy something when two masked men broke the window-panes and decamped with the bag of cash on their two-wheeler

Darshan DesaiUpdated: Thursday, October 27, 2022, 09:16 PM IST
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Ahmedabad: Gujarat police and income tax officials, investigating the source of Rs 20 lakh stolen from the car of an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) election candidate on October 13, claim to have found hawala transfer of at least Rs 10 crore by the party through desi couriers, called ‘angadias’.

On October 13, the driver of AAP’s Bardoli (30 km from Surat) candidate Rajendra Solanki had gotten down from the SUV he was driving to buy something when two masked men broke the window-panes and decamped with the bag of cash on their two-wheeler.

A local shop-keeper, Adil Memon, who deals in used cars, spotted the two speeding away on their motor bike with the bag. He gave them a chase on his bike for a couple of km when the two, probably out of fear of being caught, dropped the bag and escaped. Memon handed over the bag to the police and was rewarded Rs 5,000 for the work.

According to the police complaint by Solanki, a farmer, he had taken the car from his friend Bastiram Bhadu of Kadodara village and hired two drivers Saurabh Parasar and Alpesh Thakor.

Parasar was asked to deliver the bag to Thakor and then return the car to Bhadu. While on the way, Parasar stopped by to purchase something when this theft happened.

The police alerted the income tax department after Solanki’s contradictory statements, first that it wasn’t his money and then that the AAP had sent the money for use during the elections. The reason for involving the central agency was also that Solanki is a poll candidate.

Sources alleged that the police and I-T officials had found a money trail connecting Punjab, Delhi and Ahmedabad. A certain R Jain reportedly transferred the money to an angadia firm, M/s Chhagan Jayantilal, who subsequently distributed cash up to Rs 10 crore. The investigators claim to have confirmed this but stated that further probe might reveal a bigger amount.

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