The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday seized a collection of diamonds, rubies and jewellery from an Alipore bank locker owned by Kolkata-based businessman Paras Mal Lodha, PTI reported. Lodha was arrested on December 22 for allegedly exchanging Rs 25 crore in old currency notes for the newly-issued cash. Officials told ANI that a probe into the businessman’s account with the the Indian Overseas Bank in Ballygunge was underway.
Officials said the value of the seizure was yet to be ascertained and that two more Lodha-owned lockers would be raided. Lodha is likely to be produced in court as his custody with the Enforcement Directorate ends today.
Two of Lodha’s properties located in Kolkata’s S N Roy road and Queens Park and one in Delhi’s Lutyens zone area were also raided. Officials also confiscated computer hardware and documents that link Lodha with a Swiss bank account.
On Wednesday, Kotak Mahindra Bank Manager Ashish Kumar was arrested for aiding Lodha and Delhi-based lawyer Rohit Tandon in exchanging demonetised notes. Lodha is also believed to have links to mining baron Shekhar Reddy, who was apprehended on December 21 on similar charges.
The I-T department has conducted several raids across the country since November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were being demonetised.