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Hawala trader Paras Lodha sent to jail till January 16

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Jan 2017 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, Jan 2: A court here on Monday sent to judicial custody, till January 16, hawala trader Paras Mal Lodha who was arrested for converting demonetised notes worth Rs 25 crore linked to industrialist J. Sekhar Reddy and lawyer Rohit Tandon into new currency. Additiol Sessions Judge Raj Kumar Tripathi sent Lodha to 14 days judicial custody after Enforcement Directorate told court that he is not required for further custodial interrogation. Lodha was presented before the court after expiry of his four day ED custody.

Meanwhile, as Lodha’s defence counsel Rebecca John moved the bail plea, the court has asked ED to file its reply on the plea and listed the matter for January 6.

The Kolkata-based businessman was arrested on December 21, after hours of questioning by the ED officials and booked under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Lodha, a leading businessman with interests in real estate and mining, had been intercepted by a team of ED sleuths at the Mumbai airport while he was trying to flee to Malaysia.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had last month arrested Reddy, a former Tirumala Tirupathi Devastham Board Member, and two others from Cheni for money-laundering after Income Tax (IT) department recently seized 177 kg of gold, Rs 96 crore in old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes and Rs 34 crore in new currency from their premises.

Cash amount of Rs 13.65 crore, including Rs 2.60 crore in new currency notes, was seized from the office of Tandon in south Delhi’s Greater Kailash-I area during a raid conducted by Delhi Police on December 10. Sources said that Reddy had executed a lot of work for the Tamil du government. In connection with the case, IT officials raided 12 locations in the southern state including the house of Tamil du Chief Secretary P. Rama Moha Rao. ED officials on December 1 raided multiple hawala operators across the country involved in illegal conversion of old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 to valid legal tender since November 8 demonetisation announcement. (IANS)

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