Thrissur: The links of an RSS member to the Kodakara hawala case was brought to light by the police on Thursday. The cash was sent by Kozhikode native and RSS member Dharmarajan, Rural SP G.Poonguzhali said.
BJP leader Sunil Naik who handed over the money to Dharmarajan is being questioned. Naik was earlier associated with the Yuva Morcha.
It is suspected that around Rs 3.5 crore belonging to the BJP election fund was stolen from the Kodakara National Highway. Though Dharmarjan claimed that he had handed over only Rs25 lakh to the driver, documents proving transactions above 33 lakh rupees was recovered from the accused.
Totally, Rs 23.34 lakh and gold worth Rs 1.25 lakh was seized from the residence of an accused in the case.
Investigators also found a receipt of a loan repayment of Rs 6 lakh, made to the Kerala Bank after the April 3 robbery that occurred soon after a gang staged an accident on the highway stretch at Kodakara.
So far only Rs 30 lakh of the robbed Rs 3.5 crore, allegedly smuggled in through hawala route and despatched from Karnataka, have been accounted for.
The money was found hidden in the house of the ninth accused, Babu, 39, of Thoppil Veedu at Konathukunnu, Velookkara, in the district. Information received while interrogating Dharmarajan, who had complained of the robbery, led the police to Babu’s house.
Dharmarajan, an abkari contractor from Kozhikode, had complained that he had been looted of Rs 25 lakh. He was questioned along with Shamjeer, who had been driving the vehicle shipping the money allegedly for the election expenses of the party.
Police examined the CCTV visuals collected from a hotel where the gang had stayed in Thrissur. Preliminary investigation revealed that the first three accused persons had taken away the looted amount, which might run into crores.
Investigators, meanwhile, identified the ‘mole’ in the vehicle as Rasheed of Kozhikode. He had allegedly passed on information to the gang. Rasheed, who had boarded the car on the pretext of helping driver Shamjeer, reportedly activated the global positioning system (GPS) to guide the gang that followed the vehicle in three other cars.
Rasheed allegedly sent WhatsApp messages to gang members Ali Saj and Ranjth whenever GPS signals were not available. Messages were exchanged even during their overnight stay in Thrissur and when they resumed journey the next day.
Superintendent of Police G Poonguzhali said the probe team has gathered specific information, including electronic evidence. Though a police team from Thrissur went to Kozhikode in search of Rasheed, he had reportedly gone into hiding along with his family.