Gujarat CID Crime Investigates Angadia Firms for Rs 200 Cr Benami Transactions

The investigation stemmed from suspicions of Angadia firms facilitating fraudulent transactions for the diamond industry in Surat and Mumbai


SURAT, GUJARAT : In a major crackdown on suspected financial irregularities, the Gujarat CID Crime department, in collaboration with Income Tax authorities, raided over two dozen Angadia firms across Ahmedabad and Surat. Angadias are traditional couriers who operate as an informal banking system, particularly crucial for the diamond industry in Gujarat.

“The Gujarat CID Crime has swooped down on the Angadia firms across Gujarat, acting on intelligence suggesting involvement in maintaining fake accounts and carrying out suspicious cash transactions,” a CID Crime officer stated.

The raids targeted Angadia firms in Ahmedabad’s ISKON Arcade on CG Road and several locations in Surat with direct connections to diamond companies in both cities and Mumbai. In Ahmedabad alone, officials recovered approximately Rs 10 crore in cash and nearly 1 kilogram of gold.

Diamond Industry Under Scanner for Hawala and Benami Transactions

The investigation stemmed from suspicions of Angadia firms facilitating fraudulent transactions for the diamond industry. “The diamond companies in Surat have come under the Income Tax department’s radar for suspicious transactions routed through Angadias,” the officer revealed.

These firms handle accounts for a majority of diamond businesses in Surat and Mumbai. Crucially, Angadia carriers traditionally transport valuables like diamonds, cash, and gold between Surat, Mumbai, and other parts of Gujarat.

Sources allege that Angadia firms in Surat, Mehsana, and Ahmedabad function as an informal banking system for the diamond industry, even providing funding for rough and polished diamond purchases. Additionally, concerns were raised about potential Hawala operations.

“In a Hawala transaction,” explained the officer, “if someone in Mumbai needs to pay someone in Surat, they would deposit money with an Angadia firm in Mumbai. Within minutes, the recipient in Surat would receive the funds. This entire process involves a commission charged by the Angadia firms, typically ranging from 0.5% to 1%.”

Cash, Gold Seized, Benami Transactions Under Scrutiny

The raids yielded significant evidence.  “During the investigation, Rs 10 crore in cash and one kilogram of gold were found by the police,” the officer said. “The Income Tax officials were informed, and they immediately joined the investigation, particularly focusing on the recovered cash and gold.”

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Income Tax department unearthed details of potential benami transactions, estimated to be worth Rs 200 crore, routed through Angadia firms in the last three months. Benami transactions involve assets held in the name of someone other than the actual owner.

The ongoing investigation aims to determine the extent of financial irregularities within the diamond industry facilitated by Angadia firms. Further details on potential arrests and charges are awaited.