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AP CID takes over probe into hawala racket unearthed in Vizag

The Andhara Pradesh CID today took over the investigation into the remission of Rs 569 crore to foreign countries through illegal hawala channels, an inter-state racket busted by the state police yesterday. The Crime Investigation Department (CID) took over the probe into the racket, unearthed by the Visakhapatnam police, amid indications that the case may be handed over to the CBI. According to the officials, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has directed Director General of Police (in-charge) N Sambasiva Rao, to act tough against the economic offenders.The Visakhapatnam police in Andhra Pradesh yesterday claimed to have unearthed the hawala racket operating from Kolkata that illegally funnelled out money to the tune of Rs 569 crore overseas."Going by the gravity of the case and the foreign transactions involved, the state government is also said to be considering the option of transferring the case to the CBI," the police official said. While the Income Tax Department has already conducted preliminary investigation into the case, the Enforcement Directorate, too, is said to have taken up a simultaneous probe as hundreds of crores of rupees have been funnelled out of the country.The Visakhapatnam police yesterday registered a case against nine persons, including two chartered accountants of Kolkata, after the racket was unearthed. According to the police, a sum of Rs 680 crore was received by the hawala operators into several dubious bank accounts in Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Kolkata. Of the sum, Rs 569 crore was sent out of the country using fake documents. A father-son duo, Vaddi Srinivasa Rao and Vaddi Mahesh, have been named as the prime accused in the case. The duo, hailing from Srikakulam, had settled in Kolkata in mid-1980s, the police had said. Mahesh is said to be in the custody of Visakhapatnam police and is being interrogated at an undisclosed location. Two brothers hailing from West Godavari district, Achanta Rajesh and Harish, reportedly employed by Mahesh have been named as the accused. Kolkata-based CAs Prasanth Kumar Roy and Praveen Kumar Jha, investors Ayush Goyal, Vineet Goenka and Vikas Gupta are the other accused in the case, the police said. The DGP (in-charge) has convened a high-level meeting here tomorrow to review the case.

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