Income Tax Dept busts 200 Cr Dubai Hawala Money Trade-in attempt for Election spends at Chennai Airport

Income Tax Dept - busts 200 Cr Dubai Hawala Money Trade-in Attempt - Election Spends - Chennai Airport - taxscan

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Income Tax department has intercepted an attempt to channel Rs 200 crore of hawala money into Tamil Nadu, allegedly for a prominent political party.

According to sources familiar with the matter, this thwarted operation was uncovered when tax department sleuths apprehended Vinoth Kumar Joseph, an Indian national who had been deported from Malaysia. Joseph was intercepted at the Chennai International Airport on April 7, leading to his subsequent arrest.

Upon interrogation, Income Tax officials discovered that Joseph was linked to a substantial hawala network spanning Dubai and Malaysia. The investigation revealed a scheme to funnel hawala money amounting to Rs 200 crore from Dubai to Chennai.

Crucially, WhatsApp chats retrieved from Joseph’s mobile phone suggested that the intended recipient of this substantial sum was a prominent political party based in Tamil Nadu.

The seized evidence included a mobile phone, iPad, and laptop, all of which were key to unraveling the intricate web of hawala transactions. The investigation has identified several other individuals allegedly involved in this operation, including individuals named Appu, Selvam, Monika Virola, and Suresh.

As the inquiry progresses, the Enforcement Directorate is expected to take up the case, indicating the gravity and complexity of the financial irregularities unearthed by the Income Tax department.

With 39 Lok Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu set for polling in a single phase on April 19 and vote counting scheduled for June 4, this development adds a layer of intrigue to the political landscape in the region.

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