In a raid that lasted six hours,a joint team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Income Tax Vigilance Wing seized Rs 10 crore in unaccounted cash from four trucks at Mumbai Central Monday night.
The trucks,escorted by Mumbai Police and headed to Gujarat,were intercepted following intelligence received by NIA that there was suspicious movement of large amount of currency .
Income Tax and Mumbai Police officers,however,said gold and diamonds were carried by angadias (couriers) from the city to Gujarat daily. Over two dozen angadias had gathered outside the I-T department office Tuesday.
There were 102 bags containing packets of cash,gold and diamonds. The packets containing gold and diamonds have labels with names of senders and recipients. We also recovered Rs 10 crore, said Income Tax Director General Swatantra Kumar.
Large amounts of cash are not normally transported in this manner. It is most likely the cash is unaccounted for, said an I-T officer.
A senior NIA officer,however,said,Our probe is limited to the intelligence we received. We are concerned when there is movement of large amount of money which is not accounted for. We will wait for the Income Tax department to complete its inquiry. Since we do not have the mandate to probe money trail,we handed the consignment to Income Tax.
Unaccounted Rs 10 cr seized from trucks transporting gold,diamonds to Gujarat
While agencies maintain the consignment was suspicious,the citys angadia and bullion association met Swatantra Kumar to register protest,claiming the consignment was accounted for with proper bills.
The trucks,escorted by wireless vehicles from VP Road police station,were stopped at Mumbai Cental compound at 9 pm Monday. They were directed to Scindia House,Ballard Estate,where 102 bags were shifted to the second floor in the middle of the night. Reserve Bank of Indias help was sought to account and verify genuiness of the currency.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 2) Nisar Tamboli said,Angadias send gold and diamonds to Gujarat on a daily basis. In the past,these consignments have become the target of robberies. We have been providing security to these consignments for long. It is not part of our brief to find out what is being transported.