BENGALURU: One year into demonetisation of high-value currency notes, the Bengaluru City Police have registered 55 cases and seized `65 crore in demonetised currency. However, in many of the cases, no chargesheets have been filed, according to police sources.
Police said 55 cases have been registered since November 8 last year and more than `65 crore in old currency notes were recovered while over 230 people were arrested in these cases. These cases were registered under The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017 and the seized money has been handed over to RBI.
Police sources, however, pointed out that chargesheets have been filed in only a few cases as they are dealing with acute shortage of personnel. “Investigations in some case have been affected due to transfers of police inspectors in many stations. “As soon as the note ban was announced, middlemen were quick to get into the business of exchanging currency notes. Their commission ranged from 5 to 10 per cent for the new notes and 25-40 per cent for exchange of old notes. The exchange racket was reported to be active till September this year, though the deadline to currency exchange had long passed.
The extended time given to Non-Resident Indians for exchange of old notes also middlemen make a fast buck, police sources said.Police also seized `8.2 crore in new currency notes during this period. This too handed over to RBI to explain how people had got hold of it as there were curbs on cash transactions including withdrawals and deposits. An RBI official, however, said there was an order from the government to not disclose any information regarding demonetisation including the procedures followed. City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar told Express, “I will review the status regarding the demonetisation cases. I will direct officials for time-bound investigation.”
Some of the major cases
THE BIG CATCH
The first big catch in Bengaluru was in April when police raided the house of former corporator Nagaraj based on a kidnap and extortion complaint registered in Hennur police limits. Police seized `14.8 crore in demonetised notes from his house. After a month, Nagaraj and his two sons were arrested from Tamil Nadu. Later, seven more cases were registered including extortion, kidnap, assault and possession of demonetised currency notes. In all, 35 people including Nagaraj and his two sons were arrested in these cases.
A chargesheet has been filed and court proceedings are under way. In other cases related to extortion, police are yet to file chargesheet.
In September this year, Mahalakshmi Layout police seized `5.45 crore in demonetised currency notes based on a tip-off. Mohammed Aslma (50) of Jayanagar, Kalingappa alias Kalinga (35) of Ballari and Manjunath (58) of Nelagedaranahalli near Peenya, who had come in a car at night, were waiting for their client for exchange of currency notes.
Police later arrested two more people connected with the case and investigations are under way. No chargesheet has bee filed yet as police that the arrested acted as brokers and there may be other people behind the note exchange.