The Crime branch on Friday arrested one Bilal Harun Gilani, a close aide of Afroz Fatta, in connection with the alleged hawala scam which is believed to be to the tune of Rs 5,395 crore, said officials.
"We have arrested Afroz Fatta's close aide Bilal Harun Gilani today in connection with the multi-crore hawala scam," said an official from the Surat City Crime Branch.
The official has said that Bilal was involved in the key transactions made by Fatta and other co-accused and was crucial in sending Rs 1,200 crore through hawala transaction to the foreign countries.
Surat city crime branch was also searching for Bilal in connection with the same scam, an official said.
Surat police has acted in tandem with the probe agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) which had booked Afroz Fatta and a Surat-based diamond trader Madanlal Jain.
The probe agency ED had, on July 19, filed the charge sheet in which it alleged hawala scam to be of the tune of Rs 5,395 crore.
ED had booked Fatta and one Surat-based diamond trader Madanlal Jain in sourcing and routing the hawala cash to Surat through Angadias.
The ED charge sheet had said that the hawala cash were channelised by way of Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system through various entities to make foreign outward remittances.
However imports were not made against this.
As per the ED probe, Rs 3,929 crore were transferred through RTGS system. Fatta and his other aide Madanlal jain is under ED's custody at present.
The ED had on March 21 busted the multi crore hawala racket during their search operations in Surat based offices of some diamond traders including Fatta and Jain.
It wad alleged that instead of importing diamonds, the duo made bogus import bills, claiming that they have purchased the diamonds from foreign traders.
Using these bills, it was alleged that the duo used to transfer money through their bank accounts. Thus, money went outside without a single diamond imported in India.
The hawala scam turned into a political fight, when Congress released a CD purportedly showing photo of the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with Afroz Fatta and demanded an independent probe.