The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday stated that it had arrested two persons who were allegedly involved in illegal exchange of Rs 6 crore in old notes with J Sekhar Reddy as part of its money laundering probe.
The two accused, identified as Mahavir Hirani and Ashok Jain were arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
A press release by the directorate stated, "Investigations revealed that, using few persons like Mahavir Hirani and Ashok Jain, in Chennai, about Rs 6-7 crores were obtained by Sekhar Reddy, through Parasmal Lodha, who was earlier arrested by ED. Search of the premises of Jain by Income Tax resulted in seizure of Rs 10 crore in old currency and about 6.5 kgs of Gold. Further verification revealed that Hirani and Jain were involved in exchange of old currencies to new currencies on commission basis."
The duo have been remanded to judicial custody till January 11.
On December 8, Income Tax officials seized Rs 90 crore worth of cash and 100 kg of gold bars in multiple raids in Chennai.
Out of the Rs 90 crore that was seized by the I-T sleuths, Rs 80 crore was in discontinued old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, while Rs 10 crore was recently introduced Rs 2000 notes.
The Income Tax department later declared the seizure to be of a whopping 177 kg gold and Rs 130 crore, of which Rs 34 crore was in new denomination currency.
Sekhar Reddy is believed to have been closely linked to senior bureaucrats in Tamil Nadu and TN CM O Panneerselvam.
A contractor, Reddy had reportedly executed a lot of work for the Tamil Nadu government.
Informed sources said that the searches of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao's residence and office were also linked to the earlier IT raids on Reddy and his associates.