LUCKNOW POLICE are on the lookout for an assistant bank manager who they suspect is the mastermind behind a demonetised currency racket they are investigating. On Saturday, they had arrested four people in connection with the racket, when they were allegedly trying to smuggle demonetised notes with a face value of over Rs 50 lakh to Nepal. The four accused — identified as Faizabad resident Amar Nath, Rajesh Gautam of Lucknow, Krishna Kumar Verma of Ambedkarnagar and Kannauj resident Sumit Sharma — had been caught in front of K D Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium. They had told police that one Satish Verma, who works as an assistant manager at the Cooperative Bank’s main branch in Hazratganj police station area, used to send them to Nepal where these notes were exchanged in return for new ones.
“Working on intelligence information, we arrested four people who were traveling to Nepal to get the money changed into new notes. During interrogation, they informed us that they were working for one Satish Verma, who used to send the demonetised notes. For every Rs 1 crore, he would take Rs 6 lakh and give Rs 8 lakh to others,” Hazratganj police station house officer (SHO) Anand Shahi said.
The SHO added that the four had also confessed to taking the old currency notes to Nepal and giving them to racketeers there, and that they had done it several times before. “An FIR has been registered against the four arrested and Satish Verma, who is absconding, under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act etc. Verma could not be found at the bank or his house on Sunday. The bank manager was also not available,” the SHO said.
Asked how Verma was able to get scrapped currency notes exchanged in Nepal, Hazratganj Circle Officer (CO) Abhay Kumar Mishra said they were probing the same. “Teams have been deployed to search for him, he will be arrested soon,” he added.