In a raid that lasted six hours,a joint team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Income-Tax (Vigilance) seized Rs 10 crore in unaccounted cash from four trucks at the Mumbai Central Railway Station. The trucks,escorted by Mumbai Police and on their way to Gujarat,were intercepted after the NIA received intelligence on suspicious movement of large amount of currency.
Income-Tax and Mumbai Police officials,however,said that consignments of gold and diamonds are carried by angadias (couriers) from the city to Gujarat daily.
There were a total of 102 bags,each with smaller packets containing cash,gold and diamonds. The packets containing gold and diamonds have labels with the names of the senders and recipients. We will verify these details. We also recovered Rs 10 crore in cash, said Income-Tax Director General Swatantra Kumar.
More than two dozen angadias lined up outside the I-T department on Tuesday. While they transport such consignments of gold and diamond to Gujarat in this manner on a regular basis,the focus of the raid was on cash. We recovered Rs 10 crore in cash. Large amounts of cash are not normally transported in this manner,as transfers can be done through cheques or banks. It is most likely that the cash is unaccounted for, said an I-T officer.
A senior NIA official,however,said,Our probe is limited to the intelligence we received. We are concerned usually when there is a movement of large amount of money which is not accounted. We look at all angles and will wait for the I-T to finish the inquiry. Since we do not have a mandate to probe into the money trail,we handed the entire consignment to the I-T.
While agencies maintain that the consignment was suspicious,the citys angadia (courier) and bullion association met the DG of I-T to register its protest,claiming the entire consignment was accounted for with proper bills. The trucks,escorted by wireless vehicles from the VP Road police station,were stopped at the Mumbai Cental Railway Station compound at 9 pm on Monday.
When contacted,DCP (Zone 2) Nisar Tamboli said,Angadias send gold and diamond consignments to Gujarat on a daily basis. In the past,there were several instances in which these consignments became the target of robberies. In one such case,a murder was also committed along with robbery. Following these cases,an association of angadias approached the Mumbai Police and sought assistance.
We have been providing security cover for these consignments since long from various police stations in the area such as V P Road,D B Marg and Nagpada police station. In this case,VP Road police station had provided the escort. It is not part of our brief to find out what is being transported inside the packets, he said.