A senior Reserve Bank of India (RBI) official, a politician who owns casinos and a government engineer’s brother are among 10 people arrested in Bengaluru for their alleged money laundering.
The arrests have followed multiple raids in which Rs. 5.7 crore and Rs. 93 lakh were found in brand new Rs. 2,000 notes.
K Micheal, a senior special assistant with the RBI, was arrested by the CBI this morning. He was reportedly caught helping convert more than Rs. 1.50 crore.
KC Veerendra, a politician linked to the Janata Dal Secular, was arrested on Saturday after raids at 15 places including his home and a casino in Goa. Officials found Rs. 5.7 crore in Rs. 2,000 notes from his home.
Mr Veerendra is a businessman whose name has allegedly also come up in the cricket betting racket in the past.
More arrests in Bengaluru were made after Enforcement Directorate officials, posing as customers, caught eight alleged middlemen who used to take a hefty commission – up to 35 per cent – for helping exchange black or untaxed money for new notes. Rs. 93 lakh in new notes was seized from them.
One of the arrested men is the relative of government engineer SC Jayachandra, who was suspended recently after raids at his home revealed massive unexplained cash and wealth.
On December 2, Mr Jayachandra and another engineer, TN Chikkarayappa, were raided. Investigators found Rs. 5.7 crore in 2000-rupee notes besides a Lamborghini, Volvo, MV Agusta, Ducati 749, multiple luxury apartments and a huge amount of gold.
While endless queues at banks and ATMs reflect a nationwide cash crunch and less than adequate Rs. 500 and 2,000 notes for people, crores in new notes have been found in raids across the country.
The two highest currency notes, which formed 86 per cent of the cash in circulation, were banned on November 8 by the government to choke tax evaders.