Hyderabad: Even as a multi-agency probe is underway into the murky affairs involving two Chinese nationals — one arrested in Hyderabad and the other in Delhi recently, the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in New Delhi is keeping a close watch on the ongoing investigations and is said to be updating Beijing on a daily basis.
Though so far, there is nothing to indicate that the arrests may have figured during the back channel talks between India and China, which are locked over a tense stand-off since the deadly Galwan clashes, top officials in India’s security establishment still hold the view that the arrests could still be an irritant at this crucial juncture when several rounds of meetings at different levels has only led to a limited disengagement in parts of Ladakh.
While Luo Sang is being probed by agencies in Delhi for allegedly running a hawala racket worth over Rs 1,000 crore using shell or dubious companies, Yah Hao was arrested by the Hyderabad police in connection with the Rs 1,100 crore online gaming racket recently.
Informed sources told Deccan Chronicle that the Chinese embassy is in constant touch with officials in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after they were informed about the arrest of Yah Hao, who was picked up from Delhi airport on August 12. The Hyderabad police had written to the MEA and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) days after the arrest. Around the same time, the Income tax sleuths raided and nabbed Luo Sang from Gurgaon. The Enforcement Directorate and the IT officials are conducting separate investigations against the duo for alleged money laundering and taxation issues.
While embassies usually extend all help and support to its nationals arrested on foreign soil, it is unclear if the Chinese embassy has offered help to Sang and Hao through the MEA or MHA so far. Usually, embassies offer legal help to its nationals among other logistics. However, they are in constant touch with New Delhi seeking to know the status of the investigation regularly. Besides information from MEA and MHA, the embassy would also rely on media reports and update their government accordingly.
It is learnt that some officials in Delhi reportedly advised the Telangana police to keep the arrest and details of the ongoing probe a low key affair, lest it becomes an irritant during the diplomatic talks between the two countries. This is precisely the reason why the Hyderabad police, which is known for deriving maximum mileage even when they arrest petty offenders, chose to be very measured in its briefing following Hao’s arrest. Though they could have gone hammer and tongs with the details that kept emerging about Hao, including his visit to Pakistan and Dubai, among other countries, the senior officials were guarded.
“The issue of arrest of Chinese nationals is sensitive at this point in time and can create uneasiness during talks, especially due to the complicated relationship between the two nations which makes it dicey for agencies,” sources said. It is precisely for this reason that top officials in Delhi are keen that the case be transferred to a central agency, perhaps the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to ensure that the centre has full control over the probe and its details. There has been no move officially over this aspect.