No claimant to Rs 4.13-cr hawala money

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) is yet to trace the source of Rs 4.13-crore unaccounted for cash seized from a vehicle carrying vegetables at Anand Nagar in Kodigehalli, north Bengaluru, on January 31.

Police investigation has found that the money — 75% of it in Rs 2,000 notes wrapped in polythene bags — was part of a hawala transaction. The money belongs to some jewellers in Thamarassery town in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, but nobody has come forward to claim it, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) S Ravi told journalists on Monday.

“There are around 150 jewellers in Thamarassery. Most of them have relatives in Dubai. The jewellers smuggle large quantities of gold jewellery from Dubai and convert them into gold bars in Kerala. They later sell these gold bars to jewellers in Bengaluru and Mumbai. Payments are made through hawala,” Ravi said.

Police had arrested three men — Mohammad Afzal, Abdul Nassir and Shamsuddin — for possessing the unaccounted money. The men have told police that they were just transporting the money for a commission of Rs 200 per Rs 1 lakh.

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