Crime
The police also produced the prime accused, Vaddi Mahesh, in front of the media on Monday.

In another update to the ‘hawala’ scam unearthed in Visakhapatnam, the city's Commissioner of Police T Yoganand told mediapersons on Monday that Rs 800 crore was sent out to foreign destinations from a single account. 

While the scam was initially estimated to be worth Rs 569 crore, the figure has since gone up to Rs 1,600 crore.

The transfer of the Rs 800 crore reportedly happened before the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in the country.

After demonetisation, smaller amounts were transferred from 30 accounts in various banks under 12 shell companies, the Times of India reported. 

The police also produced the prime accused, Vaddi Mahesh, in front of the media on Monday.  

The racket came to light last week, after Income Tax Department lodged a complaint with the Visakhapatnam police and sent search parties to various cities.

The complaint named nine people, of which Mahesh and his father, Vaddi Srinivasa Rao were the main accused. Two friends of Mahesh, Harish and Rajesh, were also named.

Besides this, the police say that two Kolkata-based chartered accountants Prasanta Kumar Roy Barman and Praveen Kumar Jha, and three businessmen Ayush Goel, Vineet Goenka and Vikar Gupta were also involved.

Mahesh, who shifted to Visakhapatnam in 2015, opened 12 fake companies to facilitate transfer of funds.

They opened 30 accounts in different banks in Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Kolkata and other places.

The Hindu reported that Harish and Rajesh were arrested on Sunday, while a hunt was on for Srinivasa Rao and five others.

The police said that Harish and Rajesh were brothers, and were functioning as directors of bogus companies, helping Mahesh launder the money.

The father of the two accused, Jai Krishna, runs a hotel in the village which was reportedly suffering losses, when he was approached by Mahesh who offered his sons a job.

The case was transferred to the Crime Investigation Department (CID) on Sunday.

The Police Commissioner told mediapersons on Monday, that the case was handed over to the CID as the Visakhapatnam police did not have an economic offence wing, and was not trained to handle such a big case, that spanned across countries.

Meanwhile, a local court sentenced Mahesh to 14-day judicial remand.