The Visakhapatnam police arrested the kingpin of the Rs 569-crore ‘hawala’ scam on Sunday.
Vaddi Mahesh was detained from the Visakhapatnam airport on Saturday, and will be produced before a court on Monday.
The case has been transferred to the Crime Investigation Department (CID). CID officials detained two more people on Sunday, identified as Achanta Rajesh (25) and A Harish (23), from Taravali village in West Godavari district.
According to the Times of India, the duo were brothers, and were functioning as directors of bogus companies, helping Mahesh in laundering money. The father of the duo, Jai Krishna, runs a hotel in the village which was reportedly suffering losses.
Mahesh, who knew Krishna, offered a job to his sons and took them to Visakhapatnam and Kolkata.
Dwaraka sub-division ACP P Ramachandra Rao told The New Indian Express that the investigation will continue further not just in India but also abroad, to know how much amount of money was laundered through 30 bank accounts.
The racket came into light on Friday, after Income Tax Department lodged a complaint with the Visakhapatnam police and sent search parties to Kolkata and other places to nab the accused.
The complaint was against nine people. The accused have been identified as Mahesh, his father, Vaddi Srinivasa Rao, and his two friends, Harish and Rajesh. 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 named in the complaint.
Mahesh being the main accused, reportedly shifted to Visakhapatnam in 2015, and opened 12 fake companies to facilitate transfer of funds.
They opened 30 accounts in different banks in Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Kolkata and other places.
Of the Rs 680 crore domestic remittances in these banks accounts, Rs 569 crore was sent to five foreign companies in China, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that the transactions took place post-demonetisation. The DC report further said that the role of the three businessmen was crucial, as “The trio was the source of crores from various sources for the hawala operations.”