Odisha excise department sleuths along with the state police have recovered unaccounted cash of nearly Rs 1.22 crore and 24 gold biscuits from Ganjam district during search operations against cannabis smuggling, officials said on Wednesday. The unaccounted cash was seized from Dashrath Shaukar (35), a resident of Sangli in Maharashtra, while the gold biscuits weighing around 2.20 kg were found from Anand Subudhi (60), owner of a jewellery outlet in Bada Bazar area here, a senior officer said.
“Both could not produce any document for possession of the gold and cash,” Berhampur Superintendent of Police Saraban Vivek M said. The seized items would be handed over to the income tax department for further investigation about the sources of such assets, he said.
During checking of passenger busses on National Highway-16 in the district, the excise officials held Shaukar carrying a bag in a Cuttack-bound bus on Tuesday afternoon and recovered the accounted cash from his possession. Since the excise sleuths have no power to seize the cash, they informed the police, said AK Satapathy, deputy commissioner, excise here. A police team reached the spot and seized nearly Rs 1.22 crore of unaccounted cash in the denomination of Rs 500, the SP said. “During interrogation, it was found that the cash was given to Shaukar in exchange for gold. Subsequently, Subudhi, who had paid the cash, was detained. The investigation is underway,” he added.