Bulk seizures of new currency rose on Saturday, with four more incidents being reported, including one in which the Income Tax department recovered Rs 5.7 crore cash in new notes secretly stashed inside bathroom tiles of a hawala dealer in Karnataka's Chitradurga district.
Another fresh seizure of Rs 24 crore cash in new notes was also made by the Income Tax (IT) department in Chennai, adding to the biggest haul of cash and gold post-demonetisation, in which over Rs 142 crore unaccounted assets were recovered in tax operations so far.
In one incident, CBI recovered Rs 65 lakh of new currency in Rs 2,000 denomination from the senior superintendent of post
offices, Hyderabad, in connection with its probe in the note exchange racket.
In another recovery, an amount of Rs 82 lakh, including Rs 71 lakh in new Rs 2,000 currency, was seized at Kothur near
Hyderabad, the police said. Two persons, allegedly involved in exchange of money on commission basis, were nabbed by the police.
While giving details of the incident in Karnataka, officials said the IT department seized the alleged undisclosed assets, as part of its raids against black money hoarders post-demonetisation, from the residence of the said hawala operator who is yet to be identified.
The Challakere town, about 40 km from district headquarters of Chitradurga, is popularly known as the "oil city" due to number of edible oil mills being present there. Officials said the taxman raided the premises based on intelligence inputs about the presence of huge cash and the sleuths were startled to find a cleverly-hidden stainless steel safe, above the wash basin, inside the tiled walls of the bathroom.
The cash stash of Rs 5.7 crore, all in new Rs 2,000 notes, 28 kg of bullion (gold biscuits), 4 kg of other gold and jewellery was stuffed inside this bathroom safe, which was kept sanitised against termites using hundreds of mothballs.
The assets were recovered after the department's investigation wing in Panaji on Friday began searches against casino and bullion traders in Hubballi and Chitradurga districts. A good number of documents and another Rs 90 lakh cash (Rs 100/Rs 20 notes) have been seized after the searches on the said hawala dealer, they said. "The searches in this case are still going on at various places and the valuation of the bullion and jewellery is being conducted," they said.
Regarding the incident in Tamil Nadu, officials said the fresh seizure of new currency, in Rs 2,000 notes, was made by the sleuths from a car in Vellore on the insistence of the accused presently being interrogated in the case. With this amount, the total seizure in the case has now gone upto Rs 166 crore in a single case.
The department had seized Rs 142 crore undisclosed assets — that includes about Rs 10 crore in new notes and gold bars weighing 127 kg — during searches at multiple locations in Chennai, for the last two days, to check tax evasion. This largest seizure of new currency notes after the old Rs 500/Rs 1,000 notes were scrapped on 8 November, took place after raids were launched on Thursday on eight premises of a group engaged in sand mining in Tamil Nadu.
In a statement, the CBI said K Sudheer Babu, senior superintendent of post offices, had kept the amount of Rs 65 lakh as his commission for allegedly exchanging over Rs 3.75 crore of old currency with the new one. "The money seized was the commission of K Sudheer Babu, as he kept it aside as his share, out of Rs.3.75 crore, which he misappropriated by fraudulently exchanging old currencies for new currencies from the post offices falling under his division. So far CBI had seized Rs 92.68 lakh of new currency in Rs 2000 denomination, in these cases," it said.
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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2016 22:00:45 IST