Dharmasala foreign currency haul: Couple arrested

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 03, 2011 15:51 hrs

Dharamsala/Shimla: A couple was on Thursday nabbed in connection with the seizure of huge foreign currency from the transit home of Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje, raising the number of those arrested in the case to seven even as Chief Minister P K Dhumal hinted at probing benami land deals.

Karma Thapa and his wife Rinzin was charged with arranging the Rs 1 crore seized from Sanjay and Asutosh at Una border on January 25.

The couple was picked up from Majnoo-Ka-Tila in Delhi and was being quizzed for the past three days, police said, adding they were formally arrested today.

Karmapa Lama appears before his followers in Dharamsala

The money was allegedly being brought to Dharamsala for purchase of land for monastery and the arrest was made after the couple failed to disclose a valid source of this money.

The seizure of Rs 1 crore had led to series of raids at the premises of the trust backed by Karmapa at Gyuto Monastery at Sidhbari and foreign currency worth Rs 7.5 crore was recovered.

A close aide of Karmapa, Shakti Lama was also arrested in connection with the currency and later two more persons, Dharamsala-based hotelier K P Bharadwaj and manager of Ambala branch of Corporation Bank D K Dhar were arrested on January 30.

With the arrest of the Thapa couple, the total number of arrests in foreign currency case has risen to seven.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Tibetan leaders consisting of 'speaker' and 'deputy speaker' of its 'parliament-in-exile' Penpa Tshering and Dolma Gyari, spokesperson Karma Topden and others met Dhumal.

Dhumal reportedly disapproved of the candle marches and processions being taken out by Tibetans and told them that these were unwarranted as investigations were already underway.

He also hinted that all benami land deals would be investigated and action would be taken against those, facilitating these illegal deals.

Dhumal's comments are significant as the investigation agencies have recovered documents about land deals and power of attorney.

There were allegations that Tibetans had acquired benami lands in the name of local people and prices of these lands were so high that it was unlikely that the people on whose names lands had been registered could have arrange such amounts.

Top Tibetan monk reassures over police probe

DGP D S Minhas had also mentioned about some deals which were suspected to be benami and under investigation.

Meanwhile, Tibetan leaders said on Wednesday's march was not in protest against anyone but simply meant to express solidarity with the Karmapa whom they respected and hold in high esteem.

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