Rs.22 lakh seized by Kollam police
The Kollam police on Tuesday arrested two persons on charges of hawala deals and seized Rs.22 lakh from them. They were identified as Alikoya Ahmed, 45, native of Tirurangadi in Malappuram district, and Sajeev Gopalakrishnan, 36, native of Elamad in Kollam district. A tip-off received by the City Police Commissioner Debesh Kumar Behera led to their arrests
It was while allegedly preparing to transfer the seized amount under a hawala deal to a person near the Kollam railway station that they were arrested by a police team led by Sub Inspector G. Gopakumar. Assistant Police Commissioner B. Krishna Kumar said that before their arrests, the duo had distributed hawala money to persons at Karunagapally, Chavara, Ayur, Punalur, and Pallimukku in the district.
Alikoya is one of the kingpins of a major hawala deal gang based in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, Mr. Gopakumar said. A Gulf returnee, he had allegedly confessed to be involved in hawala operations for the past eight years. Since the past two days he was in Kollam district operating such deals. The amount seized was meant for a person at Ayur, Mr. Gopakumar said.
Circle Inspector S. Sherif said that the police had collected the details of those persons in the district who had engaged in hawala deals with the arrested two. The seized amount was handed over to the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department along with a formal report. With the arriving Onam festival season, the police suspect there could be a spurt in hawala deals and a strong vigil was being maintained against it, he said.
The police team that arrested the two also comprised civil police officers Jose Prakash, Anan Babu, Harilal, Sajith, Sunil, Guruprasad and Krishna Kumar.
Hawala deal is money transaction without any money movement and operates on a system based on trust between hawala dealers.