Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Dec 4:
Odisha police today busted a scrapped currency exchange racket with the seizure of over Rs 1.42 crore and arrest of eight persons in this connection.
Acting on a tip-off about firearms being carried in a car, police frisked vehicles at Dhanupali on the outskirts of the town. When a Hyundai i10 car bearing registration number OR15N 5707 was intercepted and searched, weapons were found. During further search, currencies stashed in four bags were found, police said.
“We have seized nearly Rs 1.42 crore from a vehicle. Among the seized amount, Rs 85 lakh are mostly of Rs 2000 denomination. Apart from this, Rs 24 lakh scrapped notes have been seized,” Sambalpur SP Akhileswar Singh said.
Interestingly, a bank official’s involvement has been established who is among the arrested persons.
“Around 25%-30% commission is being charged for exchange of old notes for new. We are further investigating on how they were arranging money,” he added.
Prima facie it appears that a bank official was involved in the trading of the scrapped notes. Involvement of more bank officials cannot be ruled out, the cop said.
On being asked about involvement of Maoists, the SP replied in negative.
According to reports, a total of Rs 1, 42, 91, 500 was seized from the car and a house here. Of the seized amount, Rs 85, 62, 000 was in new currency and Rs 25, 29, 000 in old currency. The seized currencies belong to local liquor businessman Zerayat Ali. Apart from Ali, his three sons – Qazzafi, Riftat and Sabteen – SBI Main Branch PRO Rashmi Ranjan Rout and his brother Pankaj Rout, Ravi Trivedi and Kapil Jhajharia have been arrested, police said.
Besides, the car, two revolvers and five rounds of bullet have also been seized.
Meanwhile, police wrote to the Income Tax department to probe the matter.