Pradeep Pattanayak

Police recovered Indian currency notes stashed in four cartoons from a bus at Tangi toll-gate in Cuttack on Thursday night. The person who was travelling on the bus with the cartoons has been arrested as he failed to produce valid documents to prove his innocence. 

The arrested person has been identified as Sukumar Sahu. His brother-in-law (sister’s husband) has a jewellery shop at Naya Sarak area in Cuttack town. Sahu admitted that he was carrying black money.  

According to a source, a mobile squad of the district excise department carries out search operations at the Tangi toll gate on a regular basis. As the squad had been tipped off that ganja was being smuggled in a bus named ‘Indrani’ heading from Cuttack to Kolkata, the team stepped up the vigil. 

The officials stopped the bus at the toll gate and carried out a search operation. During the search, the officials stumbled upon four cartoons. Suspecting that the cartoons have ganja, they tore open them. They were taken aback after finding bundles of Indian currency notes of Rs 500 denomination inside four cartoons in an airbag. 

Upon being grilled, Sahu admitted that he was taking the money to Babu Ghat in Kolkata. Someone would have received the cartoons there. He was arrested as he couldn’t prove his innocence. During the investigation, it was also known that he had smuggled money in the past as well. 

“Acting on the direction of Cuttack district Collector Bhawani Shankar Chayini and Excise Commissioner Ashis Kumar Singh and Excise Superintendent Debashis Patel, a mobile squad team carried out a raid at a bus at Tangi toll gate and found a huge amount of cash inside four cartoons in an airbag. Suspecting the money could be the proceeds from the sale of narcotic substances like ganja and brown sugar, we detained the person. The value of the seized currency notes is around Rs 80 lakh,” said inspector, Sadar range, Smuktikanta Rout. 

(Reported by Prabhat Bisoi and Biswajit Acharya from Cuttack, OTV)