In a case typical of a Bollywood recovery operation, the Income Tax Department on Sunday recovered Rs 30 crore from over 350 private lockers located in a shop located in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area. The cash was found in denominations of Rs 2000. According to an India Today report, as of December 3, the IT department had recovered cash worth around Rs 30 crore. The counting of votes is still underway. While a total of 400 lockers were found in the basement of the dry fruits shop, that later sold soap, 50 lockers are yet to be opened.
Preliminary investigations have found that the cash was brought in through the hawala route. It was about a month ago when the department secretly began their vault operation. The lockers were located in what looks like an ordinary shopt. As per reports, the vault under the shop allegedly belongs to some high-profile people of Delhi-NCR that are either tobacco, chemical or dry fruits dealers.
The shop where the vault has been found belongs to Ashok Kumar Gupta, who is the resident of Civil Lines. The report added sources saying that Gupta was into his 10-decades-old ancestral dry fruits business. It was some 20 years ago that he had opened a private vault with 400 lockers in his basement. Around six months ago, he rented out the ground floor of his shop to a soap dealer, however, the vault was still looked after by Gupta and his son.
The report further stated that the father-son duo would come to the shop every day at around 11 AM and stay there till 7 PM. A guard would sit outside the basement till 7 PM and once the shop was closed he would guard the basement from outside the shop, a shopkeeper was quoted saying. He added that the vault was visited by several people throughout the day.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was alerted on the day of the recovery and the possibility of the money being kept for the funding of a terror sleeper cell has not been ruled out.