The NIA on Tuesday claimed to have seized demonetised currency of face value of over Rs 36 crore from six people in the national capital. One of the accused is a head constable with Delhi Police. The agency has booked the six, along with three others, for alleged terror funding and arrested them in its case against Hurriyat leaders.
According to the NIA, during questioning of the accused in the case against Hurriyat leaders, the agency learnt that some people associated with top separatists were hoarding demonetised currency. “Surveillance was mounted on such persons/ entities. This led to unearthing of a conspiracy wherein a gang of such persons/ entities were making an attempt to convert this demonetised money into valid currency,” an NIA spokesperson said.
The agency said that on Monday, an NIA team intercepted the gang members at Jai Singh Road near Connaught Place and found them carrying 28 cartons filled with demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Over two days of counting, the agency has arrived at the figure of Rs 36,34,78,500 in demonetised currency.
Initially, the agency apprehended seven people with the demonetised currency, but one was let off after questioning. Three others were arrested Tuesday evening.
Those arrested have been identified as Delhi residents Pradeep Chauhan, Bhagwan Singh and Vinod Shreedhar Shetty, Deepak Toprani of Mumbai, Ejajul Hassan of Amroha, Jaswinder Singh of Nagpur, and Jammu and Kashmir residents Umar Mushtaq Dar (Pulwama), Shahnawaz Mir (Srinagar) and Majid Yousuf Sofi (Anantnag). The agency has also seized four cars —BMW X3, Creta SX, Ford EcoSport Titanium and BMW X1.
Among the accused, Bhagwan Singh is a head constable with Delhi Police and has a house at Sainik Farms. “He is the key accused in the case and has a prominent role in movement of money,” an NIA officer said.
When asked why the suspects were still carrying demonetised currency since all government windows to convert the money have been closed and the seized currency is no better than scrap, an NIA officer said that the agency has information that certain bank officials were still converting demonetised currency by tinkering with bank records.
The agency, however, has not yet identified who the money actually belongs to, nor does it have information on who the money was being delivered to for exchange. “These are matters of investigation. Detailed interrogation will be done once the accused are remanded in our custody Wednesday,” the officer said.