DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Banned notes worth of around Rs 100 crores, which were being used as quilt on bed, have found on Tuesday at a house in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur. The police started counting the demonetised cash a little after midnight and, by this morning, had come to a figure of Rs. 97 crore with more to be counted.
After a tip-off, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the police, along with officers of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Income Tax (I-T) department first raided a hotel in Kanpur and caught some people. Based on their questioning, the police then raided the home of one Ashok Khatri, a businessman and builder.
The cash was in Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, which were demonetised by the government in November 2016. The money allegedly belongs to a group of people. Ashok Khatri’s business, the police suspect, was a cover for money-laundering.
“I am told he is a businessman as a cover but is involved in these kinds of activities. He is the main conduit in the exchange of money. 16 people have been arrested. We were getting information that efforts are on to stack currency and exchange it in some manner,” said Anand Kumar, the acting police chief of Uttar Pradesh.
The police also said “negotiators who promised to get the notes exchanged have also been arrested”.
An NIA official was quoted as telling news agency that the cash belonged to four or five “individuals or companies”, including a prominent detergent-maker. Some of the he arrests were made from a hotel near the house.
Police sources say the “involvement of government officers” is being looked into. Sources also say that a possible modus operandi could have been to route this money through foreign companies – this is being investigated.
Four months ago, the country’s central bank said nearly 99 per cent of the demonetised notes had been returned into the markets.