CHENNAI: An enquiry with a bank branch that had lights on around midnight led police to detain some staff of a public sector bank and a private bank following suspicion they were involved in money-laundering after the recent demonetisation.
On Friday night, a city police patrol team found lights on at the Sastri Nagar branch of State Bank of Mysore after 11 pm. This raised their suspicion.
During questioning, J Elangovan, the bank cashier, claimed that `25 lakh in demonetised `1000 notes were robbed at knife-point just hours earlier. He claimed he was travelling in a car when a four-member gang waylaid him near Zamin Pallavaram and took away the cash. The money, he claimed, was being taken to a private bank at Nanganallur to be exchanged for new currencies.
However, the police brought the incident to the notice of the bank’s higher officials on Saturday, who rejected the claims.
Speaking to Express, SBM Deputy General Manager V Chandrasekar said “There were no instructions to exchange currency notes with other banks. We have launched a police complaint.” The bank had also initiated an internal probe to be headed by Assistant General Manager Manjunath.
The police suspect that the cashier and colleagues at the nationalised bank branch were planning to exchange the demonetised currency for a commission. Further investigation revealed that the branch manager Lokeshwara Rao was also allegedly part of the plan, following which he, Elangovan and his friend Rajesh were taken into custody.
Suspecting that some staff of the private bank also were involved, police took two of them into custody late Saturday evening.