Mumbai: The perpetrators of the August 1 Pune serial blasts, which were executed by the Indian Mujahideen (IM), were paid Rs 10 lakh sent through hawala from the UAE, said a senior police officer.
On August 1, four explosions, triggered by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), rattled the bustling Jangli Maharaj Road in Pune in a matter of less than an hour.
“We have zeroed in on the perpetrators from the IM but they fled soon after the blasts,” said a source. The ATS probe has revealed that the money used for the explosions was routed through Muzaffar Kola Enterprises. “Kola Enterprises was earlier found involved in sending Rs 10 lakh through hawala for Mumbai’s 13/7 blasts. The ATS had then booked Muzaffar Kola, owner of the UAE firm, for its alleged involvement in the hawala deals. But the agency could never arrest Kola since the 67-year-old is bedridden with cancer,” said a source. Even for the Pune blasts, the money was routed through the same firm, the source said. Muzaffar Kola Enterprises LLC, which deals in clothes, perfumes, cosmetics and toys, is the front set up to run the money-laundering business, the source said.
Kola’s name emerged in 2003 after the abduction of a Kolkata-based shoe chain owner, Partho Roy Burman. The police found that Rs 3 crore was paid through hawala through Kola’s firm to the abductors.