BENGALURU: It was 5.30am on Friday when the police went knocking on the residence of ex-corporator and rowdysheeter V Nagaraj (56) alias Bomb Naga in Srirampura, a middle class neighbourhood.
The police who went to arrest him in a kidnap case stumbled upon crores in demonetised notes. After about 12 hours of searches, they seized about `15 crore of the scrapped notes and land documents.
The search followed an abduction complaint by one Umesh in Hennur police limits on April 7 against Nagaraj. Umesh, in his complaint, had stated that he was abducted and taken to Nagaraj’s house and released on payment of `50 lakh.
For the team of 30 policemen, the day began on a dramatic note. When they went to Nagaraj’s house, his wife Lakshmi is said to have not cooperated with them. Nagaraj had allegedly fled on learning about the search. Police found that his two sons — Gandhi and Shastry — both on the rowdy list, were also absconding.
The police then went to the adjacent buidling on the same premises, which is Nagaraj’s office-cum-residence.
They found the building locked and the premises rigged with 38 CCTV cameras. Police had to break open the main door with the help of blacksmiths. On the fourth floor, which is a home theatre, police again had to break open the door to conduct the search.
Around 8.30am, police found demonetised currency in one of the home theatre speakers and started extensive search. They found wads of cash stashed away in every nook and corner.
Police rcovered the currency notes and documents from there and seized some more documents from his house.
There was so much money that police had to get counting machines. After nearly six hours, they concluded the counting and took the money to the RBI in three boxes, and documents to Hennur police station in multiple boxes. Raids are likely to continue on Saturday.
Additional Commissioner of Police (East) Hemant Nimbalkar said, “Nagaraj was not there when we conducted the raid. His wife Lakshmi did not co-operate with us and we had to conduct raids. As of now we have seized `14.80 crore in demonetised currency. Teams have been formed to nab Nagaraj. We have seized weapons from his house and office. Investigations will throw light on how he tried to convert the cash.”