12 December 2016
T&T Law founder and managing partner Rohit Tandon’s residence and office was raided for the third time on 11 December 2016 by I-T (Income Tax) authorities and Delhi police’s crime branch. They found Rs 13.48 crore ($ 2 million) worth of old and new currency notes.
I-T department made the first raid on 7 October 2016 and recovered Rs 125 crores ($18.5 million) in cash. At that time, he had declared an undisclosed income of Rs 125 crores ($18.5 million) to the I-T department.
Second raid was made two weeks ago, and it yielded Rs 19 crore ($2.8 million) in unaccounted money. I-T department has brought in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the raids as they believe that there may be criminality involved in the unaccounted wealth.
The cash found included Rs 2.61 crore ($386,460) in Rs 2000 new notes. How was he able to get such a big amount of post demonetization currency, the withdrawal of which was capped at Rs 20,000 per week? Authorities suspect that there was complicity of bank officials. A week ago, 27 public bank officials were suspended and another six transferred to non-sensitive posts over irregular transactions after the I-T department seized Rs 5.7 crore ($ 843,993) in new currency in Bengaluru. This shows the existence of complicity of bank officials in money laundering.
The first raid came within one week of the end of the Income Disclosure Scheme. After the first raid, he still had unaccounted wealth elsewhere. But why did he bring it, for the second and third time, into his office which was already raided? Was the money his? Was he laundering the money for others? These questions will be answered in time to come.
I-T department has collected Rs 157 crores ($23.2 million) from the three raids.
In July 2014, he bought a bungalow for around Rs 100 crore ($14.8 million). Since then he was watched by the i-T Department. Tandon now has gone underground and the search is on for him.
Two people were arrested with Rs 3.5 crore in New Delhi, within days of the announcement of the demonetization. Axis Bank managers were arrested in the capital for alleged illegal conversion of currency notes. From Chennai, the police have seized 166 crores ($ 25 million) of currency. Raid on 6 December, at former BJP leader Mahesh Sharma’s house in West Bengal yielded Rs 33 Lakh ($ 48,000) in form of Rs 2,000 notes. Similarly, illegal money has been seized in many other states as well.
Quite a lot of black money has already been laundered, with the help of corrupt bank officials, lawyers and similar middlemen. So far 80% of the old notes in circulation have already been exchanged for new notes. By the end of this month we will know whether demonetisation was successful or not.
22 December 2016
Businessman from Kolkata, Paras M Lodha, was arrested at Mumbai airport while he was trying to fly out. He had converted $3.7 million old currency to new bank notes. The $2million retrieved from the office of lawyer Rohit Tandon belonged to him. It is now clear that Rohit Tandon was a conduit in facilitating money laundering after demonetisation. He has gone underground but Lodha may know his whereabouts.
Income tax officials raided the house of P Rama Mohana Rao, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and recovered nearly $44,000 in cash and five kilograms of gold. He is alleged to have business links with J Sekhar Reddy. Rao was removed from his post one day after the Tax department raid.