Hawala king Moin Qureshi fails to dodge law at last… arrested by ED
New Delhi: Three and a half years after Millennium Post first started exposing the nefarious and anti-national economic and business activities of one of the country's biggest hawala operators Moin Akhtar Qureshi, the meat exporter and some of his accomplices have been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). ED officials confirmed that Qureshi was arrested after he was called for questioning in the case but has not been cooperating in the probe.
Qureshi had been questioned several times in the past too by the Directorate, which is probing him after it registered two FIRs under the PMLA. In the latest FIR against him earlier this year, former CBI Director Amar Pratap Singh too was named.
Incidentally, it was two back-to-back stories in the Millennium Post editions dated February 21 and 22, 2014, which first brought to light the fact that Singh might be collecting money through the "tainted meat seller". That initial exposure had shaken up the corridors of power and triggered a series of investigations, which culminated in Saturday's arrest of the hawala kingpin Qureshi himself.
The CBI searches at Singh's residence on February 21, 2017, were historic in the sense that it was the first ever instance of such action against a former CBI Director. At that time, a case was registered against Singh, Qureshi, his employee Aditya Sharma, owner of the Trimax group of companies Pradeep Koneru and other then "unknown" persons.
In that instance, the CBI had conducted searches in four cities — New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Chennai and Hyderabad. Qureshi had been accused of accepting money from several people for securing favours from public servants. An FIR was lodged on a complaint from the ED.
Singh, a 1974-batch IPS officer, headed the agency between November 30, 2010, and November 30, 2012. The CBI had based its FIR on a complaint forwarded by then Enforcement Directorate chief Karnal Singh, who alleged that in the course of investigations in a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) case against the AMQ Group of companies owned by Qureshi, it transpired that the businessman was acting as a middleman for some public servants.
In his letter, the ED chief attached records of Blackberry chat messages exchanged between Singh and Qureshi to establish that those cognizable offences were committed by the two in collusion. ED Assistant Director Arun Kumar, whose complaint was also attached with Singh's letter, alleged that Qureshi took "huge money" from different persons for obtaining undue favours from public servants and politicians holding high offices.
Documents seized during multiple raids on Qureshi seemed to suggest that he was acting as a middleman of the former CBI director and many accused in many sensitive cases had paid hefty fines which were traced mostly to Dubai bank accounts.
Millennium Post in its edition dated November 17, 2016, was the first to break the story on how the ED Director had written to the then CBI director Anil Sinha to register a case against two former CBI directors Singh and Ranjit Sinha.