In a joint raid by the Delhi Police Crime Branch and the Income Tax Department, five persons have been arrested with Rs 3.25 crore in old currency notes, the city police said on Wednesday.
On a tip-off, the raid was conducted at room numbers 106, 202 and 2016 at Hotel Taksh Inn of Karol Bagh on Tuesday late night.
Those arrested were identified as Fazal Khan, Ansari Affan, Ladu Ram, Mahaveer Singh and Ansari Abuzar, the kingpin of the gang.
According to the police, the team was informed that some people from Mumbai, Kolkata and Rajasthan carrying piles of scrapped currency notes cash, were frequenting the hotel for converting black money into white with the help of some money changers of Karol Bagh.
Their interrogation revealed that the money recovered belonged to Mumbai hawala operators, who had hired special packaging agents to pass through airport security with the cash.
“The I-T Department officers seized Rs 3.25 crore. The amount recovered was in old notes and kept in four suitcases and cardboard boxes,” Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) of Crime Branch Ravindra Yadav said.
“Ansari told police that he hired four packaging specialists, who pack these notes in such a manner that it goes undetected by the scanning machines at airports and railway station.”
“They use some tapes and spiral telephones and internet connecting wires for packaging,” the JCP said.
The I-T Department is analysing the mobile details, which reportedly contain details of other hawala operators involved in the trade.
Ansari revealed that scrapped currencies belonged to Mumbai-based hawala operators Lalit Bhai and Bholu Bhai and he worked for them.
“Lalit and Bholu are running hawala gang in Mumbai and collecting demonetised currencies from across Maharashtra and returning white money to their clients after charging commission,” Yadav said.
“Ansari hired the four packaging specialists as daily wages employees and paid them Rs 2,000 per day each for collecting scrapped currencies, their packaging and sending money through appropriate channels in the Delhi-NCR region,” he added.
Ansari had come to Delhi three-four times and successfully exchanged the demonetised currency notes with valid currencies from banks on commission. They had been active since the announcement of demonatisation on November 8, 2016, the police officer said.
“Ansari dealt with Delhi hawala handlers — Vinod, Paras and Rahul — local agents of actual hawala traders of Delhi, and with the help of Lalit and Bholu, they would convert black money into white,” Yadav said.
The Crime Branch has also given all information to the Enforcement Directorate, the JCP said.