Foreign currency: police conduct raids, quiz arrested persons

Shimla/Dharamsala, Jan 31 (PTI) Police today raidedthe premises of a Tibetan at Manali and Delhi and also quizzeda Dharamsala-based hotelier and bank manager in connectionwith the seizure of foreign currency from a transit home ofKarmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje.

IGP P L Thakur said hotelier K P Bharadwaj and managerof Ambala branch of Corporation Bank D K Dhar, who werearrested yesterday, were questioned to ascertain the source ofthe seized foreign currency worth over Rs 7.5 crore.

"Police investigations are on to locate the source butnothing can be said until the documents and informationgathered are verified and the routes through which money hadreached the monastery are identified," Thakur said.

Meanwhile, police raided the premises of a Tibetan atManali and Delhi on the basis of information gathered fromarrested persons. They are scanning the documents allegedlypertaining to some land deals and Power of Attorney seizedduring the raids as Tibetans having a refugee status were notentitled to buy any land in Himachal Pradesh.

The verification of documents seized from offices ofthe Karmapa-backed Trust and premises of others associatedwith activities of the Gyuto Monastery by Himachal Police andsleuths of IB and Enforcement department continued for thefourth day.

Police had quizzed Karmapa for about 50 minutesyesterday.

Further questioning would only be done if some vitalinformation about his connection with foreign currency wasextracted in the course of investigation, Thakur said.

During questioning, Karmapa said he was not awareabout the seizure of foreign currency worth over Rs 7.5 crorefrom the monastery and maintained that Shakti Lama and GompuTshering handled the affairs of the trust.

Karmapa''s office had also maintained that Karmapa hadnothing to do with currency and money was received by way ofofferings and donations from the disciples coming fromdifferent parts of the world, including China and Tibet.

Police have also directed the Gyuto Tantrik Monastery,transit home of Karmapa to maintain a register of visitors.

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