AHMEDABAD: A financier based in Surat, Mr. Kishore Bhajiawala, from whom the Income-Tax department recovered Rs 10.45 crore as unaccounted money, confessed before the CBI that he had used 700 people as Benami to exchange his old currency notes with the newer ones. Bhajiawala held property worth Rs 400 crore and his net worth is to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore, according to the top CBI sources.
Coming to the details, the Income Tax department which has been on rounds since the announcement of demonetization by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has caught a big fish when it unearthed a major money-laundering case involving financier Kishore Bhajiawala from Surat. Bhajiawala has allegedly used 700 people to exchange his demonetized notes with the newer ones. The CBI said Bhajiawala owned a total of 26 Bank accounts, out of which six accounts were recorded on his name and the remaining was proved by the CBI as Benami accounts. The CBI, however, did not reveal the exact amount of deposits and withdrawals that took place through the suspected accounts.
The IT department has seized a sum of Rs 1,45,50,800 in new currency notes from Bhajiawala. In addition, Diamond jewellery worth Rs 1,39,34,580, Gold jewellery worth Rs 4,92,96,314, Gold worth Rs 1,48,88,133 and Silver amounting to Rs 77,81,800 were also seized from the financier. The CBI said that none of the seized property had proper accounting and the proof of tax receipt.
“Initially the Income tax officials have conducted a surprise visit to Mr.Bhajiawala’s house and seized unaccounted currency and valuable property. However, with a huge amount of currency recovered in new denomination notes, the Income tax department is of the view that such transactions will not happen without the presence of the Bank managers and hence, transferred the case to the CBI for further investigation”, an IT official said.
Sources from the IT department said that the accused used to lend money with higher rates keeping property documents as security and later on transfer the same on his name citing default in repayment, the ToI reported.