Police raided the office of a law firm at Greater Kailash in south Delhi on Saturday night, and seized over Rs 13.56 crore in cash from suitcases, cupboards and trunks.
As much as Rs 2.6 crore found on the premises of the establishment — called T&T law firm — was in new currency notes, sources said.
After the raid, police notified income tax authorities and transferred the money to them.
Firm owner Rohit Tandon, who was reportedly watching the raid live through CCTV cameras installed in the office, went underground after the incident.
Police said Tandon’s office was previously raided on October 6, when he disclosed assets worth Rs 128 crore to the income tax department. However, he had made no mention of the money recovered from the Greater Kailash property. According to sources, the earlier raid yielded currency notes amounting to Rs 28 crore.
Though authorities suspect Tandon may have been receiving his legal fees in paper currency, leading to the cash pile-up in his office, the theory is yet to be verified. “The source of the new notes needs to be identified. The income tax department is looking into it, and we will help wherever possible,” a police officer said.
Tandon is also believed to have bought a Jor Bagh bungalow worth Rs 100 crore with unaccounted money.
Confirming the raid, joint commissioner of police (crime) Ravindra Yadav said: “In a joint operation with income tax officials, the inter-state crime branch team raided an office of the T&T law firm. We recovered cash amounting to Rs 13.5 crore – out of which Rs 3 crore were in Rs 100 denomination notes, Rs 7 crore in scrapped Rs 1,000 currency notes, and Rs 2.6 crore in new Rs 2,000 currency notes.”
Yadav said police had been tipped off in this regard two weeks ago. “We carried out the raid on Saturday, after which Tandon went underground. This is a big achievement for us,” he added.
Sources said Tandon is a close associate of arms lobbyist Sanjay Bhandari, who was earlier targeted by income tax officials for his alleged proximity with defence dealers. Sources said Bhandari, later booked under the Official Secrets Act, was closely associated with Gautam Khaitan – who was arrested in relation with the AgustaWestland chopper scam in 2014.
However, an official said Tandon’s link with Bhandari must have been “purely business-related” and unconnected with the matter at hand.
Further investigation in the case would be conducted by income tax and enforcement department officials, said Yadav, clarifying that police won’t initiate legal action against the accused.