Kerala flush with hawala money

via Express News Service published on April 6, 2011

KOCHI: There has been a five-fold rise in cases pertaining to hawala transactions in Kerala in the last three months on an average 25 cases per month. The sleuths of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence(DRI) and Enforcement Directorate(ED) say the huge sums that Gulf-based NRKs receive as kickbacks in major government-related infrastructure projects and real estate deals in India are finding their way to Kerala through alternate money channels.

According to DRI and ED sources, NRKs who have considerable clout in the administrative power corridors in Gulf countries are bringing in hawala money to the tune of crores of rupees.

”Unaccounted money is flowing to Kerala from the Gulf. We have been tracking details of certain individuals who have supposedly played the mediator role in various projects. They have no option but resort to illegal money-routing means to bring kickbacks to the state,” said a DRI official.

ED Assistant Director K V Ananthakrishnan said of late the number of cases registered in Kerala had increased manifold. ”We have been registering nearly 25 cases per month in Kerala. The flow of illegal money is gradually hotting up and we have launched a detailed probe and strengthened our surveillance. Nothing more could be revealed at this juncture as it will affect the investigation,” he said.

Meanwhile, official sources said that the probe would be looking into whether the individuals involved in the cases were working for a single hawala dealer.

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