More than Rs 1.42 cr cash including new notes seized in Sambalpur; 8 held

Sambalpur: In a major seizure, the Sambalpur Police laid hands on cash worth Rs 1,42,91,500 including new currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 denominations and arrested eight persons regarding the case from Dhanupali area in Sambalpur today.

The cash seized included new currencies worth Rs 85,62,000 and old Rs 500 currency notes worth Rs 24 lakh and legal currency notes less than Rs 100. While major amount of the cash is seized from an i10 car bearing registration no – OR 15N 5707, rest of the currency notes was seized from a house after an investigation.

The State Bank of India (SBI) Main Branch Public Relation Officer (PRO) Rasmi Ranjan Rout and liquor businessman Zeyarat Ali were among the eight arrested persons.

Other accused are: three sons of Zeyarat Ali – Md Qazzafi, Riffat Ali and Sabtin Ali; Pankaj Kumar Rout, brother of the SBI staff; Kapil Jhajharia and Rabi Trivedi.

Elaborating about the seizure, Akhileshvar Singh, Sambalpur SP, said, “On basis of a tip-off that some people carrying two weapons and an item along with them are going towards the town from Dhanupali area in an i10 car, the local police had set up checking points and were frisking vehicles. In the mean time, when the police staff searched the i10 car after it reached the checking point, the passengers in the vehicle showed some reluctance and tried to push the police personnel and run away. However, the police staff overpowered the two persons, Kapil Jhajharia and Rabi Trivedi, in the car and did a thorough search of the vehicle. Initially, the police found two pistols and four gunny bags thereafter hidden carefully from the i10 car.”

After untying the gunny bags, the police personnel found large amount cash including the new currency notes. Upon further quizzing of Kapil Jhajharia and Rabi Trivedi, names of more people came to the fore and further arrests were made, the Sambalpur SP added.

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“Questioning is on and the police will probe to elicit information how they managed to got some much new currencies,” Singh said.

“Without the help of banks, one or two persons cannot get so much of new currency notes keeping the limitation on money circulations in the market,” the Sambalpur SP noted.

He added the arrested persons do not have any criminal past.

Talking about the i10 car from which much of the cash was seized, Singh said, the vehicle is owned by the Zeyarat Ali’s family though the name under whose the car is registered will be known after getting details from the RTO.

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Ruling out any Maoist angle to the cash seizure, the Sambalpur SP said, “Involvement of more people is suspected and raids are on to nab others.”

He added, “Prima facie shows the liquor businessman was hoarding the currency notes to hide tax and was trying to make his black money into white. For the conversion of the old currencies to new ones, he took the help of some agents and the SBI staff.”