Kolkata police claimed to have seized at least Rs 2 crore in cash and a large amount of jewelry from a businessman’s car during a raid on a high-end apartment owned by his brother in the area of Shibpur in Howrah in connection with an alleged online fraud case.

The car belonging to Arvind Pandey was parked outside his brother Shailesh Pandey’s apartment at the time of the seizure of cash and jewelry, officials said.

Police said a regional manager of Canara Bank filed a complaint at Hare Street Police Station in Kolkata on Friday that some people had opened two accounts with the Narendrapur branch of the bank on behalf of businesses with fictitious documents and made large online transactions.

A case was registered under Articles 120 B (criminal association), 420 (cheating), 467 (falsification of a document of value), 468 (purpose of cheating) and 471 (use of false documents as authentic) of the Indian Penal Code.

Both accounts were allegedly opened by the Pandey brothers, police said. “Both accounts were reviewed and were seen performing suspicious transactions with multiple accounts. Many were found to have transferred money to Canara Bank accounts under the guise of taking online courses in currency trading,” a senior police official said.

The two accounts with a balance of almost Rs 20 crore have been frozen following the initiation of an investigation by the Kolkata Police Bank Fraud Unit, it added. Neither brother could be found until Sunday evening, officials said.

Political war of words against seizure

The recovery of a large amount of cash sparked a political brawl in the state, with opposition parties attacking the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The ruling party, however, said such incidents showed that demonetization had proven to be an exercise in futility.

BJP National Vice President Dilip Ghosh said: “Who does this money belong to and where does it come from? Now that the Directorate of Law Enforcement (ED) and the CBI are firmly on the watch, the money will be found in different places.

CPI(M) chief Sujan Chakraborty said: “People in Bengal are working out of state at a time when huge cash is flowing here. Money flies under the TMC rule.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen said, “It is obvious that demonetization has been a failure. Such incidents only show how demonetization has been used to turn black money into white money. We have all seen how millions of rupees have been used by the BJP to buy MPs to stay in power.