The Income Tax department claims it has seized Rs 86 crore in new notes and detected more than Rs 3,185 crore in black money since November 8, when demonetisation was announced, PTI reported on Wednesday. Officials told the news agency that 677 search and enquiry operations have been conducted across the country in this time.

The I-T department has reportedly issued more that 3,100 tax evasion and illegal monetary transaction-related notices to several organisations and individuals. Currency notes and jewellery worth over Rs 428 crore have also been seized, officials said.

Around 220 cases have been referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation or Enforcement Directorate to probe charges of money laundering, disproportionate assets and corruption.

The investigating agencies have directed their personnel to deposit seized new notes in bank accounts instead of strong rooms to facilitate the supply of currency in view of the current cash crunch. The news agency quoted an official who said, “This way the new currency can come into circulation and help banks dispense it to the public.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the demonetisation drive on November 8. He said the initiative was an attempt at regulating black money and corruption. The Centre’s move to discontinue the high-value notes has faced sharp criticism from economists and Opposition parties.