The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday booked a Karnataka Bank chief manager and a branch manager of the Dhanalaxmi Bank and a private cash logistics firm by the name of Secure India Value Ltd in Bengaluru for ”facilitating’ the laundering of unaccounted cash. The CBI had alleged them of diverting more than Rs 5 crore, which was meant for replenishing ATMs, in the new currency denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 to a group of 4 engineers and contractors following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
According to IE, the CBI on Monday arrested Chandrakant Ramalingam and Nazeer Ahmed after registering a case of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery and corruption among others against 7 people on December 3. According to reports, the FIR names the chief manager of Karnataka Bank Suryanarayan Bairy, Umashankar Renuka, the branch manager of Dhanlaxmi Bank among the associates in the trade of illegal cash exchange. The investigation led to the discovery of Rs 5.7 crores in the new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes from Ibrahim Shariff, government civil contractor, S C Jayachandra, government engineer and 2 other people. The cash logistics firm, Secure India Value Ltd, which handles cash for 18 banks was also one of the accused in the case. The search operation launched by over 50 Income Tax officials recovered Rs 5.7 crore in the new currency notes.
Soon after the high-value currency notes were demonetised by the government, finance minister Arun Jaitley had been continuously repeating that the Centre is monitoring the suspects of black money. The I-T department conducted a search operation on the day and recovered the cash. However, the shocking part of the incident was that a major portion of the amount was in Rs 2,000 currency notes that was introduced on November 8 by RBI Governor Urjit Patel post announcement of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The I-T officials called it ä highest seizure of the new currency in the country post demonetisation. “Some entry operators and bankers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are under the scanner. Such volume of new currency cannot be obtained without the connivance of bank officials,” a senior I-T department official told PTI.