Chennai: The so-called $5 billion worth of international bills of exchange held by Tamil Nadu businessman T.M. Ramalingam seem to be bogus, said a senior Income Tax (IT) Department official.
Speaking to IANS on condition of anonymity, the official said: "The Barclays Bank has orally confirmed to us that the international bills of exchange held by Ramalingam are bogus. The bank said it would confirm it in writing Thursday."
According to the official, Ramalingam has been asked to present himself before tax officials Friday.
IT officials had seized the bills when they raided Ramalingam's residence in Tirupur district Dec 31.
Ramalingam had said he got the bills of exchange in return for gold bonds that he had held.
The IT official said the gold bonds are Chinese gold bonds and such bonds can be downloaded from the web. He said the gold bonds are also bogus.
During search operations, the IT department seized fixed deposits worth Rs.1.83 crore in the names of Ramalingam and his son with the State Bank of India and Karur Vysya Bank.
Asked about the source of the fixed deposits, the IT official said: "Ramalingam got Rs.2.5 crore from a Singapore company by promising a loan from a financial institution. With the funds he bought a new car, carried out some repairs to his house and deposited the balance."