In a joint operation, Income Tax Department and Crime Branch of Vasai Police on Thursday recovered Rs 1.11 crore in both old and new notes from the vehicle belonging to a Shiv Sena corporator in Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation, police said. Searches were carried out at Dhananjay Gawade’s residence as well as office at Pragati Nagar in Nalla Sopara in neighbouring Palghar district around 8.30 am, they said. During the operation, the cash was found kept inside the vehicle parked at Gawade’s residence, they added.
“Out of the Rs 1.11 crore, Rs 64.5 lakh were in scrapped notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500, while the remaining Rs 47 lakh were in the new Rs 2,000 bills,” a police official said. “Gawade has been taken into custody for questioning in connection with the cash,” he said. Meanwhile, replying to a query on the seizure of notes, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said here that the party is investigating if the seized currency is similar to that of state Co-operation Minister Subhash Deshmukh.
According to reports, cash worth over Rs 91 lakh belonging to Lokmangal Group associated with Deshmukh had been seized by flying squad of state Election Commission in Osmanabad, before the first phase of civic elections last month. Deshmukh had then claimed that the amount was meant to be disbursed as wages to sugarcane workers attached to the Lokmangal group.