Cops unearth hawala network over false robbery complaint 

Update: 2023-01-10 12:02 GMT
Chandrayangutta police after nabbing four hawala organisers with Rs 79.25 lakh cash and two cars. (Photo by arrangement)

Hyderabad: A false complaint about a robbery backfired on the complainant, when it triggered raids on him and his associates, leading to the seizure of Rs. 2.75 crore from residences of hawala organisers in Kamlanagar, Chaitanyapuri and Old City.

The police raided first raided the residence of Venkat Reddy, owner of MR Bar and Restaurant, who complained that he was robbed. In a raid of his residence in Kamlanagar, the police seized his diary, in which date-wise transactions of ₹26 crore were recorded.

The police then checked his phone and recovered WhatsApp chats with an aide Praveen Kumar, an NRI who is in the USA, which led them to the residence of another organiser, identified as Farooq, in Riyasatnagar.

The police seized Rs. 1.75 crore from Reddy’s residence and Rs. 1 crore from Farooq’s account.

A senior police officer said that they grew suspicious of Reddy — who alleged he and his associate Harish Reddy were robbed of Rs. 25 lakh on January 7 by unidentified robbers at Shardanagar — as they could not find evidence for the same in CCTV footage recovered.

The police said that Venkat Reddy and Farooq, who were conducting the hawala business for the past six months, decided to lodge a police complaint to retain Rs. 2.75 crore, owed to the NRI partner Praveen Kumar.

The police said that Venkat Reddy’s diary showed that Praveen Kumar had circulated over Rs. 26 crore and that more arrests are likely, as it contained information on senders and receivers of transactions. They are also analysing WhatsApp records of the accused to garner more information.

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