Ahmedabad: A special court here refused bail on Monday to multi-crore rupee hawala scam accused and Surat-based trader Afroz Fatta in a case of alleged illegal money transactions worth Rs 5,395 crore.
Special Judge S C Srivastava of the Prevention of Money Laundaring Act (PMLA) court rejected Fatta's bail plea.
On August 2, Fatta had filed a bail application before the special court after ED filed a charge sheet against him and other 77 accused.
Opposing Fatta's bail plea, ED had contended he was the main accused in the case who had allegedly made illegal transactions to the tune of more than Rs 5,000 crore.
ED had further submitted before court that Fatta was involved in sourcing and routing hawala cash to Surat through traditional couriers known as "angadias".
Fatta had told the court that he should be granted bail after the prosecution agency ED had filed a charge sheet against him earlier this month and there is no scope of investigation left.
Fatta had alleged co-accused Madanlal Jain was involved in the money-laundering scam whereas he was not involved in illegal transactions.
On July 19, ED had filed a charge sheet in which it alleged the hawala scam was worth Rs 5395 crore.
As per the ED probe, Rs 3,929 crore was transferred through the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system outside India.
At present, both Fatta and his aide Madanlal Jain are under ED's custody.
On October 21, ED had busted a multi-crore rupee hawala racket during search operations in Surat-based offices of some diamond traders including those of Fatta and Jain.
ED had alleged that instead of importing diamonds, Fatta and Jain created bogus import bills, claiming they purchased the diamonds from foreign traders.
Using these bills, it was alleged, they used to transfer money through their bank acccounts. Thus, the money allegedly went outside the country without a single diamond being imported to India.
The hawala scam turned into a political fight after Congress released a CD purportedly showing a photo of then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with Afroz Fatta and demanded an independent probe.