Hawala scam: Another Surat-based trader arrested

Following the arrest of Afroz Fatta and Madanlal Jain, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested another Surat-based trader, Rakesh Kothari, in connection with a multi-crore hawala racket that was busted earlier this year.

Ahmedabad: Following the arrest of Afroz Fatta and Madanlal Jain, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested another Surat-based trader, Rakesh Kothari, in connection with a multi-crore hawala racket that was busted earlier this year.

"We arrested Kothari who had come here late last night to give a statement in the the multi-crore hawala scam," an ED official said.

Kothari had carried out illegal transactions to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore through his two Surat-based companies, namely, GT Enterprise and Vandana enterprise, the official said.

Kothari illegally transferred money from Surat to Mumbai through Real Time Gross Settlement system to make foreign outward remittances. This money was later used in the smuggling of gold and silver bars, said the official.

Kothari was today produced before the Special Judge for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases, S C Srivasatva. ED sought his remand for ten days.

Advocate Sudheer Gupta, ED's lawyer, said the accused's involvement in the hawala scam had been proved, and statements of other accused also established his involvement.

The court later reserved its order till September 4.

According to ED's July 19 charge-sheet, the scam is to the tune of Rs 5,395 crore.

It said that Jain and Fatta forged import bills of diamonds and remitted money abroad without actually importing a single diamond.

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