Bengaluru, dec 13, 2016: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday has arrested seven alleged middlemen and seized Rs 93 lakh in new currency in Karnataka.
The officials said the agency placed the seven, including the relative of a government official, under arrest late yesterday under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Rs 93 lakh in new notes of Rs 2000 have been seized in the case, they added.
However, according to reports, the ED officials presented themselves as customers to the middlemen and managed to lure them into a trap.
This new seizure by ED adds to the series of similar confiscations been made recently throughout the country, revealing an illicit money currency exchange mechanism between black money holders and senior bank employees.
Meanwhile, officials said the action was taken as part of a probe in a case where the Income Tax department had recently seized Rs 5.7 crore cash in the new currency and the Enforcement Directorate had booked a money laundering case against a government engineer and others based on a CBI FIR in the case.
The reports also suggest that the middlemen had links with bank managers and they were allegedly taking 15 to 35 per cent commission for exchange of notes. Further investigation is being carried out to identify those to whom the money belonged and the bank officials involved in this.
Post demonetisation more than Rs 250 crore in newly introduced currency notes has reportedly been impounded in multiple raids carried out in different parts of the country in past one month. The Home Ministry has also taken cognizance of the matter and conveyed to the banks that is closely monitoring the situation.