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Badla blot on Srei Securities

Calcutta, Oct. 3: The Calcutta Police have booked Srei Securities — a subsidiary of Srei International Finance Ltd promoted by the Kanorias — for suspected involvement in illegal badla financing.

The police arrested Dinesh Kumar Jain, managing director of Srei Securities, on Wednesday evening. He was produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate today, and remanded in police custody till Friday. His remand is likely to be extended tomorrow.

Srei Securities is a ‘satellite dealer’ of government securities. It is entering the mutual fund industry and has recently reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Dundee Mutual Fund, which is exiting India.

Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner (detective department) of the Calcutta Police, said: “Jain was arrested for Srei’s close links with Dinesh Singhania, which came to the light from interrogation of the people in detention. We arrested Jain from his house near Minto Park, and will be conducting a raid at Srei’s office.”

When contacted in the US, Sunil Kanoria, one of the promoter-directors of Srei, said: “I am hearing the news for the first time, but it surprises me because Srei Securities deals in government securities only.”

Yet another senior Srei official said: “The police were looking for Jain’s brother, Akhilesh, who is a broker, and since he was missing, they arrested Dinesh instead. Srei has had nothing to do with Dinesh Singhania.”

Sources in the stock market, said Jain had close links with rukka-purja and hawala — private financing and money transfer — agents. They said he might have been arrested for helping Singhania and his associates transfer funds out of the country through illegitimate channels.

The police are said to be in the look out for a hawala operator close to Jain. When asked about Jain’s hawala connections, Mitra said he could not divulge details in the interest of investigation.

Meanwhile, sleuths from the Mumbai Police arrived in the city today to interrogate the brokers detained by the city police.

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