New Delhi: The CBI on Tuesday lodged a case against a Bank of Baroda official in Kolkata for converting old currency in violation of rules, taking the number of such cases to 10 with 16 arrests and Rs 19 crore as currency in question.
Cashier of Bank of Baroda, Behala branch, Ranjit Kumar Bhattacharya has been booked by CBI for allegedly converting currency worth Rs 50 lakh using fraudulent means in violation of laid down rules post demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes on November 8.
Under its countrywide operation continuing for a few weeks, the agency has so far registered four such cases in Karnataka, four in Hyderabad, one in Rajasthan and one in Kolkata.
CBI sources said so far it was probing currency conversion of Rs 19 crore, which might increase as the probe progresses and more FIRs are registered by it.
The agency sources said it has made 16 arrests across the country which include public servants, middlemen and private persons.
In Karnataka, CBI has arrested a JDS leader who is also a casino operator and an RBI official in separate cases of alleged illegal conversion of old currency.
Reserve Bank official K Michael, posted in Bengaluru, was arrested by CBI while he was allegedly trying to convert Rs 1.51 crore of old currency notes.
CBI sources said Michael, a senior special assistant at RBI, was arrested last week.
The agency has also arrested Veerendra in a separate case relating to seizure of Rs 5.70 crore of new currency from the bathroom of the casino owner by the Income Tax department.
"We have arrested KC Veerendra. He was arrested in Hubballi on December 10 and brought to Bengaluru the following day and produced before the CBI court. He is in our custody for six days," a top CBI official told PTI today.
Besides Veerendra, middlemen Thipeswamy and Venkatesh, residents of Chitradurga districts of Karnataka, and unknown officials of four banks -- State Bank of India, State Bank of Mysore, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra -- have also been named in the FIR in this case.
A case has been registered against an ATM servicing company and officials of Karnakata Bank and Dhanluxmi Bank.
Another case has been registered against Central Bank of India officials and private persons for allegedly facilitating exchange of demonetised notes by issuing 149 Demand Drafts of Rs 70 lakh in the name of a private loan company.
In Hyderabad, CBI had registered four cases related to conversion of currency by postal department officials with prime suspect named in the FIR being K Sudheer Reddy, an Indian Postal Service Officer.
The agency has also registered an FIR against officials of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, Dausa branch on similar charges.
Meanwhile, a racket to change demonetised notes at a 15 per cent commission was busted in this Madhya Pradesh district with the arrest of two youth and over Rs 15 lakh, out of which over Rs 14 lakh was in new Rs 2,000 notes, seized from them, police said on Tuesday.
Balaghat's Superintendent of Police Amit Sanghi told IANS that police obtained information that the two youth - Amit Sanvre and Abhishek Saraf - were engaged in the racket, and on Monday night, their car was intercepted and searched and the money - Rs 14,40,000 in Rs 2,000 notes and Rs 1 lakh in Rs 100 notes, found.
Sanghi said that Sanvre confessed he was changing the demonetised notes for a commission but police was yet to find out from where the duo had obtained the new currency notes.
The two youth and the cash have been handed over to the Income Tax Department.
(With Agency inputs)