9 crore recovered in raids across country

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New Delhi, Raids in various parts of the country led to recovery of more than Rs 9 crore on Wednesday, the law enforcement agencies continue their crackdown on illegal stashes of money over a month after the central government made old banknotes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 invalid.

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday seized Rs 2.19 crore from here as part of its operation to check hawala trade.

Officials said the sleuths of the agency swooped down on the premises of the cloth trader and a few other locations here, based on a tip-off received by them about huge illegal currency-stashing.

While the ED said Rs 18 lakh in new notes was recovered, the Chandigarh Police said Rs 69.35 lakh in new currency was recovered during the raid.

The action has been taken under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the searches are still on, they said.

Chandigarh DSP Ram Gopal said a team led by ED’s Deputy Director Gurnam Singh conducted a raid and seized Rs 1.50 crore in demonetised currency and Rs 69.35 lakh in new currency.

The raid was carried out at house of one Inderpal Mahajan. He has been arrested and a case has been registered against him, the DSP said.

He said the ED team has seized notes for further verification.

The Enforcement Directorate has been carrying out searches and enquiry at various places in the wake of demonetisation. A case has been registered against Mahajan under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 420 (cheating) and 120 B (conspiracy) of IPC and section 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The DSP said a case under unidentified bank officials has also been registered. Police said the ED team took the “illegal” cash in its custody for further investigation.

Dogs, old woman guard money stash in Bengaluru

The Income Tax Department on Wednesday seized a total of Rs 3.57 crore cash, with Rs 2.93 crore in new notes, from Karnataka and Goa with a huge stash being recovered from a flat here which was guarded by two ferocious dogs and an old woman.

Officials said the department sleuths got a tipoff that an apartment in the Yeshwanthpur locality had some cash but they could not execute the search yesterday as the old lady living in the flat refused to cooperate with the taxman and tie the two canines she had.

Finally, the sleuths made an entry with the help of locals and police and found a room that was locked.

It was also noticed by the I-T teams that a person visited the flat in the wee hours.

“The locked room was opened and unexplained cash to the tune of Rs 2.89 crore, which includes Rs 2.25 crore of new Rs 2,000 notes, was found.

“Entire cash has been seized and further investigation is in progress in this case,” the department said in a statement.

In a separate case in Goa’s capital Panaji, the department seized Rs 67.98 lakh in new notes of Rs 2,000 from a person who met the sleuths who were acting as decoy customers in desperate need of cash.

“The seizure was made from a place called Banda on the Maharashtra-Goa border,” they said.

The department’s probe wings of Karnataka and Goa, post demonetisation, have seized a total of Rs 29.86 crore, with Rs 20.22 crore in new notes, 41.6 kg bullion and 14 kg jewellery as part of investigative action to check profiteering in the wake of currency ban.

The department said it has detected unaccounted income worth Rs 1,000 crore as part of 36 operations launched till now by it in these two states.

Raids in Delhi hotel

Delhi Police raided a hotel in Karol Bagh here and recovered Rs 3.25 crore in demonetised notes from five people, police said on Wednesday.

Based on secret information, the Crime Branch conducted a joint raid with Income Tax officials on Tuesday night at Taksh Inn in Karol Bagh and found five people in two rooms of the hotel carrying Rs 3.25 crore, said Ravindra Yadav, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime).

The five men are carriers and had been identified as Ansari Abuzar, Fazal Khan, Ansari Affan, Ladu Ram and Mahaveer Singh, he said.

The recovered amount was kept in different suitcases and cardboard boxes. It was found during interrogation that the money belonged to some Mumbai-based hawala operators, said the officer.

“They had hired packaging specialists who pack these notes in such a manner that they are even undetectable by airport scanning machines. Experts in packaging are using some tapes and wires which pass through X-ray,” he said.

The Income Tax department has seized the cash and is analysing the mobile phone details of these people since their phones contained details of a lot of other hawala operators, he added. — PTI

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