National

Kapil Sibal alleges money laundering scam

Congress leader Kapil Sibal addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters in New delhi on Tuesday.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters in New delhi on Tuesday.

The Congress on Tuesday alleged that government officials and BJP leaders were involved in a money laundering scam that exchanged demonetised currency notes past the deadline set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a commission of 40 per cent.

Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters, former Law Minister Kapil Sibal played out a video clip of a sting operation in which, he claimed, a government official said BJP’s top leadership was involved. The official, identified as one Rahul Ratharekar from the government’s intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), claimed to an undercover reporter that officials from 26 department were involved in the money exchange operation.

‘Printed abroad’

The video was reportedly shot at a Mumbai hotel in July last year. RBI’s deadline to exchange old currency expired on December 31, 2016.

Quoting from the conversation in the sting operation, Mr. Sibal alleged that the RAW official claimed currency notes worth thousands of crores were printed abroad and transported into India by special aircraft.

A team of government officials drawn from different departments were engaged in the exchange of old notes for new post demonetisation.

Another clip

Another video clip showed the official of a private bank carrying out the exchange of old currency for new ones.

“The video shows the exchange of demonetised notes with the new ones in a government godown in Maharashtra,” said Mr. Sibal who added the entire sting video was available on the website of Tricolour News Network (TNN).

He, however, did not authenticate the videos and maintained that all the names mentioned in the clip were in the public domain and could be independently verified by the agencies.

“Will this Government arrest these people, will the ED [Enforcement Directorate] arrest these people? Will the CBI arrest all the people who are involved? They will not, because ED protects those who loot the country,” alleged Mr. Sibal.

The former Law Minister’s press conference on Tuesday is the second in a series on the issue of demonetisation. On March 26, Mr. Sibal had played out another sting by TNN, where an alleged BJP worker was involved in such an exchange of old currency.

“If this is not ‘anti-national,’ then what is? Will the Supreme Court show the courage to take note and hold the corrupt accountable?” asked Congress communication chief Randeep Surjewala.

The Congress party’s fresh offensive on demonetisation also comes just days after the Income Tax (IT) department carried out raids on people linked to the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and other Congress functionaries.


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Printable version | Mar 17, 2022 3:08:26 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kapil-sibal-alleges-money-laundering-scam/article26785373.ece