Bullion trader held in Rs40-cr Hyderabad currency racket

In a breakthrough in the Musaddilal note conversion fraud, police have arrested Neel Sunder Tharad, proprietor of Astha Lakshmi Bullion in Hyderabad, for collecting Rs40 crore in demonetised 500- and 1,000-rupee notes, from black money holders and depositing them in the accounts of Musaddilal Jewellery to launder them through the bullion route.

Tharad is a relative of Musaddilal Jewellers managing director Kailash Chand Gupta, who is currently in judicial custody in Chanchalguda Jail.

"After demonetisation on 8 November, Tharad conspired with Kailash Chand Gupta and others of Musaddilal Jewellers and some other firms and hatched a plan to convert huge unaccounted amounts, which were with them, into new currency by depositing the old notes in the banks," the CCS arm of the police said on Thursday. Tharad operates Astha Lakshmi Gold Bullion, a sister concern of the scam-tainted Musaddilal Jewellers, in Secunderabad. He was arrested from his residence at BS Maktha in Begumpet.

"Tharad collected about Rs28 crore from people by exchanging it at 30 per cent discount and also negotiated with Nithin Gupta and others of Musaddilal Jewellers to pay a commission of 10 per cent from his share for getting the amounts exchanged through their firms,'' deputy commissioner of police (CCS) Avinash Mohanty said.