Rs 5.7 Crore Seized From ‘Secret Bathroom Chamber’ In Karnataka

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Bengaluru: In what could be the second major haul of currency and gold by taxmen in the state after demonetization, the Karnataka and Goa arm of the I-T department has stumbled upon Rs 5.7 crore in new currency kept in a ‘secret locker of bathroom’ in Hubballi.

A statement from the Panaji Directorate of the Director General of Income-tax (Inv), Karnataka & Goa said search operations were carried on the casino operators and bullion traders in Hubballi and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka on December 9.

“The income-tax teams were present at around 15 premises spread across the states of Karnataka and Goa. One of the hawala operators is also actively involved in converting old notes and was accumulating bullion using old currency,” it added.

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During the search operations, a secret chamber in the bathroom of the residence of a hawala operator was traced. “28 kg of bullion, about 4 kg of gold and jewellery, Rs 5.7 crore of Rs 2,000 currency notes and Rs 90 lakh in old Rs 100 and Rs 20 notes were seized. Various incriminating documents have also been recovered and income tax teams are further analyzing and investigating the same.

Notably the major haul of new denomination currency is from a relatively small town Challakere in Chitradurga district. This small town with a population of 50,000 is 40 km away from the district headquarters,” the statement said.

On December 1, the Income Tax had confiscated over Rs 4.7 crore during searches in a dozen premises in Bengaluru and other locations.

Officials said the searches were launched on the premises of two engineers, working with the state government, and some “connected persons”.

A team of over 50 I-T sleuths and police personnel launched operations early morning and searched premises in Bengaluru, Chennai and Erode (Tamil Nadu).

During the course of searches Rs 4.7 crore cash in new denominations of Rs 2000 and 0.3 crore in old/smaller denominations totaling Rs 5 crore and 7 kg bullion worth approximately Rs 2 crore were found in a flat owned by a civil contractor.

Tax raids across the country in the last few weeks have resulted in seizure of crores in new and old currency procured in illegal ways.