After a series of twists and turns, Rs 3.5 crore cash in demonetised currency notes, which had ‘vanished’ from the airport here, was finally seized by the Income Tax Department after frantic searches. A Bihar-based businessman, who was travelling alone in a chartered jet from Hissar, was Tuesday apprehended by the CISF here following a tip-off by the Intelligence Bureau that he was carrying “suspect money”.
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The businessman was questioned by the CISF and other security agencies, and the matter was handed over to the local income tax authorities, who let him go after he showed them some “tax exemption certificates”.
Alarm bells began ringing when IB wanted to know about the follow-up action taken by the CISF. On being told that they had handed over the matter to I-T authorities who allowed him to go, the matter was discussed at the top level between the IB and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), and frantic searches began for the man and the missing money. On getting the details and CCTV footage of the episode from CISF, the CBDT ordered I-T officials to hunt for the missing notes.
During the searches at a few premises owned by a Dimapur businessman, the taxmen were able to locate the missing Rs 3.5 crore. Not only that, they impounded another Rs 4.47 crore in demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 bills.
A case has been registered by the I-T authorities and investigation is on.
A special vigil has been deployed by security agencies and the airport guarding Central Industrial Security Force in the wake of the demonetisation of the two high denomination currency notes.