In the biggest seizure of cash in new currency post demonetisation, the Income Tax department on Thursday confiscated over Rs. 5.7 crore during searches in a dozen premises in Bengaluru and other locations. About Rs 90 lakh was also found in old notes, which were banned after demonetisation came into effect from November 9.
The officials whose residences were raided according to sources are, S C Jayachandra, Chief Planning Officer of State Highway Development Project, PWD, and T N Chikkarayappa, Managing Director of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. The other persons who were raided are Naval Agarwal, doctor in a private hospital, and contractors Ibrahim Sharif and Nawaz.
I-T department which had raided two officials’ houses on 30 November said, “In these searches, cash in excess of Rs. 6 crore, bullion of 7 kg approximately and jewellery of about 9 kg (gold and jewellery is valued at approximately Rs. 5 crore) were found from the residences. Out of the cash found, Rs. 5.7 Crores was in the new currency of Rs. 2,000 denomination notes.
The sleuths also attached a Lamborghini and Porsche limousines of Jayachandra, parked in the basement of his multi-storey apartment.
The Income Tax department said it has detected unaccounted income worth Rs. 152 crore in its searches in a dozen premises in Bengaluru and other locations.
The tax sleuths had also seized some notes of Rs. 100, demonetised notes of Rs. 500 and a few gold biscuits during the operation, they said, adding the department had to call in note counting machines and additional staff to ascertain the value of the cash.
A team of over 50 Income Tax men and police personnel had launched operations on Thursday and searched premises in Bengaluru, Chennai and Erode (Tamil Nadu).
Both the I-T department and the ED, along with other enforcement agencies and police, are undertaking these operations after reports of instances of illegal exchange of old currency and stashing of new currency notes to perpetrate hawala and money laundering like activities.