The Financial Intelligence Unit has launched a probe into an incident in which it was found that new bank notes were being delivered to some people straight from the printing press. It was found for the very first time since the November 8, 2016 decision on demonetisation, that new currency notes were being delivered straight from the mint to certain people.
Based on a tip-off by the Intelligence Bureau, the Income Tax department officials held a man in Delhi with a bundle of notes in on December 15. It was found during the investigations that Kumar was allegedly a courier who was directed to deliver the notes. The probe being conducted jointly by the IT department and the IB will now go into the modus operandi of how notes from the mint made its way out and was being delivered to private individuals.
Bundles of notes were packed after being printed at the mints in Nasik, Maharashtra and Salboni, West Bengal and then sent out. The notes are alleged to have exchanged many hands before they reached Kumar, investigations have found. "There appears to have been some relaxation of protocol," an IB official informed OneIndia.
"Yes there is an investigation on to find out how these notes reached a private person when they should have reached a bank or an ATM. The two mints have printed 52 million notes since November 8, and some part of it have not reached the banks," the officer noted.
After being printed the notes are packed in bundles of 1,000 before it reaches the RBI chest. It is then broken down into 100-piece bundles before they make their way to the bank. "All the bundles have a government seal, and one such batch was found on Kumar," IB officials state.
The IB and the IT departments would look at the larger picture and check if there has been an involvement on the part of the banks as well. There is already an ongoing probe to find out if some banks had diverted money to select individuals. In this connection it may be recalled that in December the CBI had arrested two officials in Bengaluru after it was found that money had been diverted in a bid to help some individuals exchange demonetised currency in larger numbers.