In Kerala, hawala money racket rearing its ugly head again

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KOZHIKODE: In Kerala hawala money rackets are now back again after it went in to hiding when the demonetisation juggernaut rolled in. The enforcement agencies in the state are once again facing the herculean task of busting illegal currency exchange rackets. Large volumes of new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes into Kerala are being pumped in to Kerala by hawala agents, the ED probe reveals. Hawala racketeers are striking when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is struggling to ensure a steady supply of new currency notes. Rs. 1.5 crore in new Rs 2,000 notes were seized by the Police from two persons at Perinthalmanna in Malappuram on February 6. ED sources say Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were the main sources of the new notes. “The accuse duo were caught by the ED said they had sourced the money from Vijayawada. Mr. M P Mohana Chandran, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Perinthalmanna said, the case is being pursued by the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED)”. Illegal currency exchange was in full swing and new notes were being sourced from neighbouring states, said another ED to www.Policenewsplus.com. Large caches of Rs 2,000 notes from Kannur, Tirur, Perinthalmanna and Aluva were seized between November 2016 and February 2017, he said. Hawala agents had helped black money hoarders exchange banned notes for Rs 2,000 notes at commission rates pegged between 30 to 40 per cent, ED said. An income tax officer said, “The hawala racketeers used the NRI accounts to deposit the old notes till last December”. “The racketeers have an extensive network among non-resident Keralites in Gulf countries. The people who stay in gulf and their relatives in Kerala are being used to deposit the old notes and we are verifying the account details and investigations are on ”, ED said.  ]]>

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