Kerala HC rejects bail pleas of 10 accused in Kodakara hawala money heist case

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Kochi, Jul 15 (PTI) The Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed the bail pleas of 10 accused in the Kodakara hawala money heist case, saying source of the looted money has not been traced, some of the co-accused are still at large, while several witnesses remain to be examined and a lot of evidence has to be retrieved.

It also said there were numerous mysterious aspects in the case, like the police being alerted regarding the heist 4 days after the incident and the complainant alleging that only Rs 25 lakh was looted whereas the probe revealed that Rs 3.5 crores was being carried and all of it was stolen.

'There are numerous circumstances to think that it was a premeditated act which the accused had moved after hatching a conspiracy,' Justice K Haripal observed.

'Very many aspects of the crime remains to be unravelled. Some of the accused are still at large.

It has also come out that a large number of witnesses remain to be examined.

Moreover, a major chunk of the amount, vehicles and mobile phones used by the culprits are not retrieved.

Considering all these aspects, the applications are dismissed,' he said.

The lawyer for the accused contended that since the investigation was at an advanced stage, their further detention was not necessary.

On the other hand, the Public Prosecutor, representing the police, opposed the applications and said the investigation was at the middle stage and if the petitioners are released on bail, it would hamper the probe.

The PP also told the court that out of the Rs 3.5 crores allegedly looted by the accused, only Rs 1.27 crores could be retrieved and Rs 2.19 crores is yet to be recovered.

'Similarly, FSL report is not yet received and mobile phones and vehicles which were used by the culprits are yet to be traced,' the PP said.

A special team of Kerala police is investigating a complaint filed by Shamjeer Samsudheen that on April 7, a gang had stopped his car on the Kodakara flyover in Thrissur district and looted Rs 25 lakh kept in the vehicle when he was on his way to Kochi from Kozhikode.

Though the complaint had stated that only Rs 25 lakh were stolen, the investigators later found that the actual amount could be about Rs 3.5 crore and it was a 'hawala' transaction.

The police have arrested 21 people in connection with the case so far. PTI HMP ROH ROH

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