December 26th, 2016
Kishore Bhajiawala, a Surat-based financier, has come under legal proceedings in connection with the recovery of new currency worth Rs 1 crore during a search by Income Tax Department on him last week.
The officers confiscated another lot of currency notes worth Rs 11.02 lakhs. A case of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery under IPC (Indian Penal Code) and Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against him and his two sons. The Manager of Surat People’s Cooperative Bank, Pankaj Bhatt has also come under the scanner, and the case has been registered against him, as reported by The Economic Times.
Income Tax Department conducted the raid as a part of anti-black money search after the demonetization move by the government. More unaccounted money could be expected to be unearthed in days to come.
Bhajiawala was a tea and snack vendor who ran a stall in Udhna, Surat, Gujarat. He turned to a financier a decade ago.
Money and Documents Seized
Rs 1.45 crore was recovered by the I-T Sleuths. Rs 1.05 crore of this amount was in new currency notes while bullion worth Rs 1.49 crore was confiscated. Gold Jewellery amounted to Rs 4.92 crore, silver ingots worth Rs 1.28 crores and other ornaments priced Rs 1.39 crore were seized during the raids. Around 250 property documents were also seized by the officials.
The officials had also investigated his bank accounts, lockers and other assets, as reported Business Insider.
Bhajiawala had 27 bank accounts and out of which 20 were Benami accounts through which he laundered money. It has not been ascertained as how much money he has withdrawn or deposited so far.
It is also being said that he had asked 700 persons to withdraw money after demonetization. With the help of accomplices, he had deposited Rs 1 lakh, Rs 2 lakh and Rs 4 lakh on November 12, 13 and 14 respectively. Bhajiwala also used 212 people to convert old demonetized currency into new denominations.
The IT officials said that it is not possible to get the significant amount of new money without the involvement of bankers, so they are also probing various roles of the banks. Kishore Bhajiawala owns commercial properties, row houses, flats and plots in the city.
As per The Financial Express, it is understood that Bhajiawala had accumulated such wealth by financing leading realtors in the city. The search for the realtors is still going on.