The money was distributed among gang members.
Mumbai: A cloth merchant who operated the oldest hawala network from Kalbadevi, allegedly assisted in sending at least Rs 40 lakh to fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari in the past eight months.
The Mumbai crime branch revealed that the arrested merchant, Ramesh Jivatram Israni alias Dilip Bhai, also received around Rs 4 lakh which was distributed among Pujari’s
Israni had been sending money to the Pujari gang over the years however he claimed that he did not know that the money was going to the gangster. Israni has been running the hawala racket since a decade and his name was known among operators. Officials are also rummaging through receipts and rough (kaccha) records of past transactions that have been found from his office. Officials said that not only was the money sent through Israni, he also received funds from abroad that were given to Kamal Singh alias Kamruddin Patel, one of Pujari’s old associates. The money was distributed among gang members.
Anti-extortion cell (AEC) officials also learned that an Indian identified as Bhagwan is the person assisting the gang to send and receive money in Dubai, where it is sent via hawala.
A crime branch officer said, “Bhagwan is a fake name that the person uses and he is the one who collects money and sends it further from Dubai”.