‘Lajpat Nagar heist victim was in touch with Dubai-based persons’

Businessman Rajesh Kalra’s call records raise questions

The call detail records of businessman Rajesh Kalra, who was a victim of Tuesday’s heist in Lajpat Nagar, have revealed that he was in constant touch with several persons based in Dubai.

Mr. Kalra’s name had featured in the charge sheet of the Hansie Cronje match-fixing scandal in 2000.

The police suspect that Mr. Kalra was in touch with Dubai-based members of a hawala network, though he claimed that the contacts were “friends and well-wishers”.

‘Reluctant to lodge case’

According to police sources, Mr. Kalra and Rakesh Kumar Sharma, a Jaipur-based businessman who also lost money in the heist, were initially reluctant to lodge a case partly because they were apprehensive of being questioned about the way they obtained the money.

A senior police officer added: “They indicated that they were capable enough to absorb the losses incurred.”

“Since there is an established hawala link to the stolen money, we suspect that he [Mr. Kalra] had other avenues of income from the same route,” he said.

An analysis of the phone records has also revealed that a night before the heist Mr. Kalra had received a call from a Dubai number.

The source said they are also looking into the other telephonic conversations Mr. Kalra has had with those based in other countries. The police are trying to ascertain whether Sanjeev Chawla, a London-based bookie, was among those in touch with Mr. Kalra.

Mr. Chawla, like Mr. Kalra, was charge-sheeted in the 2000 match-fixing scam and his role was also probed in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting racket busted by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police last year.

Another Delhi Police source hinted that they could contact their Mumbai counterparts to trace the hawala trail which is believed to be the source of the money stolen in the heist.

CCTV footage

On investigations in the case where Mr. Sharma and four others were robbed of a car and crores in cash, the source said the CCTV footage obtained from cameras installed along the route traced by the robbers has provided little information.

A police team also interrogated Haryana-based gangster Ashok Ghogha at Rohtak Jail. This after Ghogha’s cousin Sandeep, an employee of Mr. Sharma’s who knew about the movement of cash “on a daily basis”, purportedly told the police that he shared this information with his relative.

Among those questioned so far is Jawed, Mr. Kalra’s former employee who was fired in April last year.

A letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:48:02 PM |

Next Story