Cash Seizure Hints At Black Money Smuggling Along India-Bangladesh Border

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New Delhi: With the income Tax Department stepping up the heat on black money hoarders, many Indians could be sending their black money in new notes to Bangladesh to escape the I-T net.

The possible modus operandi caught the attention of Indian security agencies after the Border Security Force (BSF) on Thursday seized Rs 29.70 lakh in new Rs 2000 notes from two people at Nokchi in West Garo Hills District in Meghalaya. Nokchi borders Bangladesh.

The money belonging to an Indian cloth merchant was meant to be delivered to one coal exporter at Gasuapara in Meghalaya. Gasuapara is the export hub of coal for the Garo Hills region and from here huge quantities of coal are sent to Bangladesh through international trade on an annual basis.

This has given rise to strong doubts that money was meant for smuggling into Bangladesh through coal consignments for a safe keep.

“The porous India-Bangladesh border is a known conduit for entry of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) by some Bangladeshi racketeers who are also involved in smuggling of cattle from India. The reverse flow is possible and Indians could be sending their black money to Bangladesh through the same racketeers,” a source said.

A BSF spokesman said that the personnel carried out an operation on Hill Road and apprehended two Indian nationals, Nasib Miya, (23 yrs) and Bilal Hossain, (22 yrs), both residents of Pubergram village at Mankachar in Assam along with the notes.

“The apprehended people revealed that the seized currency belongs to one Sanjay Agarwal, a cloth merchant of Mankachar, and the consignment of money was to be handed over to one coal exporter, Lophu Sangma of Balaji Coal Export Company of Gasuapara,” the spokesman said.

“There are 1485 new Rs 2000 notes and other smaller denomination notes amounting to Rs. 3, 205,” he added. The BSF party also seized one PAN card, one voter ID, two driving licenses, one mobile with two Indian SIM and one motor cycle from their possession. The apprehended persons along with seized items handed over to concerned police station for further legal action.

Intelligence agencies are also looking into a possible terror link to the seized money, a source told TOI. “Right now we are also not ruling out the Garo National Liberation Army which has bases across the border and they might be using the same route to transfer their money,” the source said.

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