Hawala Racket Accused Fatta Sent to Judicial Custody

Surat-based diamond trader Afroz Fatta, accused of involvement in a Rs 700-crore hawala scam, was sent to 15 days judicial custody today by a court here.

Principal district judge S C Srivastava of Ahmedabad Rural Court remanded Fatta in judicial custody in the Sabarmati Central Jail, since the Enforcement Directorate did not seek a further remand.

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

On May 22, the rural court granted three days remand to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after Fatta was arrested on May 21 by the agency.

Meanwhile, he has filed a bail plea in the rural court which is likely to be heard on May 27.

Earlier, the diamond trader had 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, the 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.

The ED said subsequent investigations revealed that the amount moved out of India by them could be around Rs 5,000 crore.

Fatta 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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