The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday arrested a senior Reserve Bank of India official and two others in Bengaluru for allegedly laundering large sums of demonetised currency, ANI reported. Investigators also recovered Rs 16 lakh in the new notes from K Michael and his accomplices.
Michael, a senior special assistant of the central bank, was involved in exchanging Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes worth Rs 1.51 crore, News18 reported. He was attempting to obtain new notes from the State Bank of Mysore in Bengaluru before being apprehended.
However, RBI Deputy Governor SS Mundra said that the arrested official was a junior functionary who had been suspended. “We have instituted an investigation. Action will be taken once details are known,” he added.
The official’s arrest is the latest in a series of raids carried out by the CBI and other investigative agencies following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Seven people in Karnataka were arrested after the Enforcement Directorate seized Rs 93 lakh in the new Rs 2,000 currency notes from them on Monday.
Last week, the Income Tax Department had seized Rs 106.52 crore in cash during raids at eight locations in Chennai, of which around Rs 10 crore was in the new Rs 2,000 notes. In a database of new currency seized, curated by public policy professional Meghnad S, nearly Rs 160 crore in the newly-issued bills seems to have been recovered in raids and arrests so far.
Moreover, Mundra said all bank managements had been instructed to carry out central data checking. “In an operation this size, there are always elements who do not behave as is expected, but we are keeping vigil,” he said, adding that RBI supervisors are conducting similar exercises at various data points of banks. If an untoward transaction is noticed, an investigation will be launched, he said.