MUMBAI: Demonetisation has reportedly crippled underworld activities. Sources from the underworld said due to the shutting down of hawala channels, all allied criminal activities, ranging from matka, smuggling of country-made weapons, contract killings, robberies and drug racket, have been hit.
Hawala or illegal money trading is the backbone of black money and scarcity of cash, coupled with too many defunct notes, has affected this industry. A senior police officer said one should analyze the underworld activities from the fact that not a single gangster has called up any businessman demanding extortion in the last 20 days. “Moreover, there is not a single case of smuggling of country-made weapons in two weeks, a common instance in a city like Mumbai,” said an IPS officer.
Demonetisation has badly hit the drug cartel. “We have information of big-time peddlers possesing contraband, but there are no buyers…They are waiting for the market to restore so that they can encash,” said Sanjay Jha, zonal director, Narcotics Control Bureau.
Police said goons are under pressure as lawyers representing them are demanding fees in new notes. “Even courts are refusing old notes, hence criminals are unable to get cash bail,” said an advocate representing a Chhota Rajan gang member.