ED Opposes Hawala Scam Accused Fatta's Bail Plea

The Enforcement Directorate today opposed in a local court the bail plea of Afroz Fatta, accused in the Rs 700 crore hawala scam.

"There are multiple reasons to implicate him (Fatta) in the hawala case under the norms of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," Special Public Prosecutor Sudhir Gupta on behalf of Enforcement Directorate (ED) submitted before the Principal district judge S C Srivastava of Ahmedabad rural court.

Gupta has submitted an affidavit on behalf of the ED stating that the crime suggested that money generated from the hawala scam was used for other purposes as well.

ED, while opposing the bail plea of Fatta, has informed the court that he was not cooperating with the probe agency.

"The investigation of hawala scam is at a crucial stage, where the role of some of the key persons was not yet probed," Gupta said before the court adding that Fatta's bail plea should be rejected.

After hearing the arguments the court has posted the further hearing on June 4.

Fatta had hit the headlines during the Lok Sabha poll campaign when Congress leaders released a photograph showing him sharing the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Fatta, who was arrested by the ED on May 21, had moved the court on May 27 seeking regular bail and challenged ED's action against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The diamond trader had earlier ignored two summons sent by the ED and allegedly gone underground to evade arrest.

On March 21, the central agency had claimed to have unearthed a hawala racket (illegal fund transfer network) worth Rs 700 crore, allegedly run by Fatta and another Surat-based trader Sundarlal Jain, who is still absconding.

During its probe, ED claimed to have found that Fatta and Jain opened several firms on paper and transferred Rs 700 crore out of India by producing fake bills of entry of local banks.

ED said subsequent investigations revealed that the amount moved out of India by them could be around Rs 5,000 crore. Fatta had recently moved the Gujarat High Court seeking quashing of the ED's complaint against him, but failed to get any relief.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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