Vijayawada: Rs 683 crore was routed out of the country through hawala transactions with Visakhapatnam as the epicenter of the illegal operations, Andhra Pradesh DGP Sambasiva Rao said.

Giving details of the scam and the investigation so far at a media interaction here on Friday, he said Rs 533 crore of that amount was routed through Canara Bank alone. "The scamsters floated bogus companies, created fake bank accounts and used those accounts to transfer funds to foreign countries," the DGP explained. The Income Tax department first alerted about the illegal transactions and with the help of the Enforcement Department the scam was revealed, he said.

"Investigations are underway into the scam and so far 17 people have been arrested by the CID. Ayush Goel, Vineet Goenka and Vikas Guptha are the prime accused among the 17 people," the DGP said and added that investigators are now verifying if they are the actual players in the scam or only a front for other bigger crime syndicate.

Some interesting observations made by DGP Sambasiva Rao regarding the scam:

  • It is a case of money laundering and not hawala transaction
  • The role of banks in the scam in another aspect of the investigation
  • Investigations by the CID has not revealed the role of any politicians so far