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Cash, jewels worth Rs 200 crore seized in Mumbai

A courier consignment of cash, gold and diamond jewellery, estimated to be worth a staggering Rs 200 crore was seized in Mumbai late on Monday night by the National Investigation Agency and Income Tax department. It is being billed as the biggest operation of its kind and the sources and destinations of the consignment are being probed.

Income Tax director general Swatantra Kumar told media persons in Mumbai on Tuesday morning that the consignment, intercepted near the busy Mumbai Central terminus around 9.30 pm on Monday, was bound from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and other destinations by the Gujarat Mail train.

It was brought in four trucks carrying around 150 bags filled with cash and jewellery, stumping the investigators, who suspect a terror angle, a top IT
official said.

At least 47 people, including personal couriers, locally known as ‘angadiyas’, were detained and 20 were let off after initial questioning by the two agencies early on Tuesday morning. The operation was carried out following a tip-off received by the NIA at least a week ago. NIA roped in the IT department for help as a huge amount of cash was involved.

Not ruling out a terror funding angle, at least a dozen of those detained are being questioned separately by the NIA. Counting of the cash and valuation of the jewellery is currently on at the IT headquarters in Mumbai and the true value of the consignment is expected to be known later, the official said. Kumar said a team of officials is busy counting the seized cash and ascertaining the value of the jewellery.

Kumar said the outcome of the IT probe will be shared with the NIA. Mumbai’s ‘angadiyas’ are known to transport huge amounts of cash and valuables daily by trains from Mumbai to Gujarat and other parts of the country.
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