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Friday, May 01, 2009

Possible Hawala & Arms Money Runners detained in India

1 May 2009, 0601 hrs IST, TNN

BANGALORE: Two passengers on a Sharjah-bound flight were intercepted at the Bangalore International Airport in the early hours of Thursday by
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence sleuths who seized Rs 1.5 crore in cash from them.

Kaja Moinuddin and Mohammed Imbiyaz are being questioned by various state and central agencie.. According to DRI officials, they are from Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada district.

  • The currency notes were concealed in the bottom of their trolley bags and wrapped in cloth.
  • The notes were in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and biscuits were placed over them.
  • Since this is the first instance of Indian currency being smuggled at the BIA, DRI officials are keen on figuring out the motive but the two are very tight-lipped.
  • They were caught following a tip-off by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and state intelligence.
  • THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME Sources said the two had passports since 1981 and visited Sharjah several times as well as other countries.
  • Investigating agencies suspect this is not the first time they were smuggling money to West Asian countries.
  • They failed to give the exact nature of business they were running either in India or abroad.

The Uttara Kannada police have been alerted to check their credentials and verify their business. The initial suspicion is that it’s hawala money.

However, sleuths feel the final destination may not be Sharjah. Others sense they have links with international arms dealers.

“It’s too early to come to a conclusion and we need at least two days to establish the motive,’’ sources added.

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