Nagpur: The high profile case of seizure of Rs 2.55 crore ‘hawala’ cash followed by the arrest of 7 people including 3 policmen from Nandanvan police station may been shown as ‘cracked’ in the police diary but as sources revealed, there is more to it than meets the eye. Highly placed sources revealed that the mastermind of the sordid episode was still out of police net. Sources claimed that if this mastermind is nabbed then it may turn out many skeletons out of the closet. A conspiracy to ‘cover up’ the dubious facts is being hatched to escape public ignominy, sources said.
As per the insiders’ information received by Nagpur Today, the ‘hawala’ cash episode are hinting at the involvement of one of Gondia’s ‘reputed’ politicians and rice traders as well. If the State Home Department steps in and conducts an in-depth probe, the murky truth could be dug out.
It may be recalled, in a dramatic development, Nandanvan police, acting on tip off by informers, had seized cash over Rs 3.18 crore, stuffed in a customised car that was coming to the city from Chhattisgarh’s Raipur, in the early hours of Sunday, April 29. The car was intercepted at Prajapati Square. During a check, police had found customised compartments at bottom of all the four seats of the car. However, the incident took dubious turn when it came to light that the actual amount was Rs 5.73 crore. The three accused police personnel API Sunil Pandurang Sonawane, his writer constable Vilas Bhaurao Wadekar and driver Sachin Shivkaran Bhajbhuje connived with each other and pocketed Rs 2.55 crore out of the Rs 5.73 crore.
When the Commissioner of Police Dr K Venkatesham learnt about the ‘loot’ by the three cops themselves, he had directed the DCP Zone 4 Nilesh Bharne to probe the matter. After going through the episode, the DCP Nilesh Bharne addressed a press conference on Friday, May 4, and nailed the role of the three cops. He said seven accused, including the three policemen attached to Nandanvan Police Station have been arrested. Cops have also recovered the ‘looted’ cash of Rs 2.55 crore except Rs 2.10 lakh given to informers. After the seizure of ‘hawala’ cash was made public, a businessman named Ali Hussain Jiwani claimed that the cash Rs 5.73 crore concealed in the Renaulot Duster car (MH-31/F) belonged to him. He had lodged a complaint with Nandanvan and claimed that Rs 2.55 crore was missing from the car that the cops had seized. Subsequently, a probe was ordered by Police Commissioner, the DCP Bharne said. The probe nailed the role of the three cops in gobbling up the cash. They were placed under arrest and produced in court on Friday.
Mastermind gulped down major pie?
Giving a new twist the ‘hawala’ cash loot, sources from Gondia and Nagpur’s Surya Nagar, Dhantoli and Khamla, informed that the total ‘hawala’ cash was around Rs 10 crore and half of the money was grabbed by the mastermind. The money allegedly belonged to a ‘reputed’ politician from Gondia and his close aide and ‘Dawaat’ trader. This trader allegedly ‘handles black money’ of a sitting Gondia legislator and national leader. The trader has also interests in Nagpur’s Surya Nagar and Wardhaman Nagar. The turnover of ‘hawala’ traders is in crores. These dubious elements have also invested crores and crores in landed property in big cities across the country, sources said.
Mastermind still eluding cops
Interestingly, whenever ‘hawala’ cash or black money is seized, a ‘petty’ businessman comes forward and stakes claim on the seized money. According sources, the mastermind of this ‘hawala’ scam is still eluding the cops. The mastermind has already devoured the ‘hawala’ money. Sources further revealed that this mastermind stays in a posh apartment in Khamla and has computer business in Dhantoli. This trader is a ‘fraudster’ and allegedly cheated several people and banks to the tune of crores.
According to sources, the four other accused involved in this ‘hawala’ cash loot were also allegedly involved in bogus, filmy style ED raid on a local politician in Washim two years back. The Washim cops, in a cover up act, had tried to ‘save’ the mastermind of the bogus ED raid carried out on the lines of Bollywood film ‘Special 26.’