Foreign currency haul: Bank accounts of Karmapa backed Trust frozen

Police had recovered foreign currency worth Rs 7.5 crore from the Karmapa backed Trust on January 25.

Shimla/Dharamsala: Bank accounts of a Trust
backed by Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje and its trustees have
been frozen in connection with the probe into the seizure of a
huge amount of foreign currency from a transit home of the
Tibetan spiritual leader.

"It (freezing of bank accounts) is part of the
investigation process as bank accounts were being thoroughly
screened for money transactions," Inspector General of Police
P L Thakur said today. He refused to divulge further details.
Two trustees Gompu Tshering and Tenzin Namgyal have
applied for anticipatory bail, while police have arrested
seven persons, including Karma Thapa and his wife Rinzin, in
the case so far.

Police had recovered foreign currency worth Rs 7.5
crore during raids on the premises of the Karmapa backed Trust
at Gyuto Monastery at Sidhbari near Dharamsala after it seized
Rs one crore from a vehicle on Una border on January 25 along
with documents pertaining to land deals.

While the police and Enforcement Directorate sleuths
have quizzed Karmapa and his aides in connection with source
of foreign currency, including Chinese currency, the
investigating agencies claim to have got vital leads about
purchase of benami land plots.

Himachal Pradesh has a stringent law that bans
purchase of land by any non-agriculturists including bonafide
Himachalis without the permission of the government.
The permission for purchase of land in relaxation of
Section 118 of HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act is given by the
government for projects, institution and bonafide Himachalis
but the Tibetans, who have a "refugee" status, cannot purchase
any land.

Police sources said that some of the deals where land
had allegedly been purchased in the name of local people but
buyers were not able to disclose the source of money are under
scanner and these are suspected to have been purchased by

Chief Minister P K Dhumal has told the Tibetan leaders
that all benami land transactions would be probed and action
would be taken against those facilitating these "illegal"

Dhumal also apparently snubbed the Tibetan leaders who
called on him at Dharamsala yesterday for holding processions
and candlelight marches and said that these were

News and photographs about previous marches have now
been removed from the official website of the Karmapa.

Police have so far arrested seven persons-- Ashutosh
and Sanjay Dutt at Una border, Shakti Lama, a key functionary
of the Trust, Dharamsala based hotelier K P Bharadwaj and
manager of Ambala Branch of Corporation Branch
D K Dhar and the Thapa couple.