Bengaluru Government Engineers Had 5.7 Crores In New Notes, Taxmen Investigate How

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Nearly Rs 6 crore in new notes were found in tax raids on 2 senior officials in Bengaluru


Bengaluru: 

Highlights

  1. Rs 5.7 crore found from 2 bureaucrats and 2 contractors in Bengaluru
  2. Biggest haul of new cash since Rs 500 and 1,000 notes were banned
  3. The officers have admitted to around 157 crores in unaccounted wealth
Bengaluru-based government engineers Jayachandra and TN Chikkarayappa earned not more than Rs 10 lakh a year. Raids by taxmen on Thursday revealed the jaw-dropping extras they had acquired over time - a Lamborghini, Volvo, MV Agusta, Ducati 749, multiple luxury apartments, gold and Rs 5.7 crore in brand new 2000-rupee notes.

Money seized from the officials and two contractors in Bengaluru is the biggest haul of new cash since Rs 500 and 1,000 notes were banned on November 8, a move to choke tax evaders. Around Rs 90 lakh in old notes and 16 kg of gold and jewellery worth five crores were also found.

Stacks of new notes on a bed made an unusual sight amid a severe shortage in banks.

Jayachandra is the chief project officer of the State highway development body and Chikkarayappa is the Managing Director of a civic body in charge of the harnessing the waters of river Cauvery.

The officials have admitted to around Rs 152 crores in unaccounted wealth. Sources in the Income Tax department believe the final tally could be far more.

The engineers were suspended today, on a day the government warned that those trying to convert their illegal, untaxed money would be punished and coordinated action is underway.

"Trails are being pursued by agencies. The result is already visible. It will be more visible in the coming days," said Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

Sources in the Income tax department said investigations are focused on how the Bengaluru officials managed so many new notes at a time they are in short supply and are being rationed by banks and ATMs as there isn't enough compared to the demand.

At least one bank official's involvement is suspected, said sources. The manager of a cooperative bank is suspected to have helped the officials with new notes for a commission.

Karnataka is governed by the Congress.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's shock ban of currency notes that form 86 per cent of the cash in circulation had people spending hours in banks and ATMs for cash.


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