I-T finds Rs10 cr in new currency in Bank of Maharashtra lockers in Pune

The Income Tax (IT) Department has recovered Rs10 crore from 15 lockers at Parvati branch of Bank of Maharashtra in raids on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Of the Rs10 crore, Rs7.5 crore were in new Rs2,000 notes while the remaining Rs2.5 crore were in the denomination of Rs100, confirming the widespread belief that the problem of cash crunch is created more by an unholy alliance between black money holders and financial institutions.
 
''Before this the highest we collected was during the raids in and around Benguluru on December 1, which yielded Rs4.7 crore in new Rs2,000 notes,'' director general (investigation) from the New Delhi office of Income Tax department, said.

The 15 lockers from which the money was recovered belong to a Houston-based multi-national company Worldwide Oilfield Machine (WOM), which is in the business of industrial spares and engineering solutions. The company has a bearing manufacturing unit near Pune at Bhor and its Asian office is located in the city.

While the company's account with the bank was old, it had leased the lockers only in August this year. I-T Department noticed hyper-activity in these lockers immediately after the demonetisation. These lockers were  being continuously accessed between November and December.

The multiple transactions also brought to light some irregularities in the account.

I-T Department doubts collusion of bank officials and is investigating the role of branch manager Abhimanyu Shendge.

The I-T department has sought cooperation from the bank authorities to obtain all the transaction reports of the firm, even as the cash is being counted.

Meanwhile, in another incident, on Tuesday Wakad police claimed to have seized a car with Rs67 lakh in Rs2,000 and Rs100 denomination notes at Thergaon. The I-T department officials, however, said the entire haul is valued at Rs1.4 crore.

According to the police that two beat marshals from Wakad police station, who were on a regular night round spotted a car near Prasandham society in Thergoan area. The car with a Mumbai registration number also bore an emblem of Employment cell of Republican Party of India (RPI) from Mumbai.

The five persons in the car were initially questioned by the cops. Four of the five persons have been identified as Chetan Rajput, Amit Doshi, Sainath Netke and Praveen Jain. The fifth person, a lady, could not be traced. Cops also said that Doshi has claimed that he is an Republican Party of India leader from Mumbai.