Dharamsala, January 28: Himachal Pradesh Police on Wednesday evening seized one crore (10 million) rupees in cash, which was allegedly brought to the state for clearing payments in connection with an illegal land deal at Dharamshala in Kangra district, media reports said.
Three persons, including an employee at 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's office have been arrested.
Police arrested two Indians, identified as Sanjay Dutt and Ashutosh, in Una on Wednesday while entering Himachal in a car and recovered one crore rupees from their possession.
The duo told the police that they were carrying the money from New Delhi to be handed over to Rabgay Choesang, an employee working in Karmapa’s office. Choesang was later arrested on Thursday.
Following the arrests, police on Thursday extended its raids to the Gyuto Tantric Monastery at Sidhbari village - the temporary residence of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, who heads the Karma Kagyu sect of the Tibetan Buddhism.
In the operation, Hindustan Times reported that police raided the private residence of Choesang – who is employed as an accountant responsible for maintaining accounts of foreign donations offered to the Karmapa Lama.
During raids, the report said, the police party recovered foreign currencies including US Dollar, Euro, Chinese Yuan worth a few crore rupees and rupees 35 lacs (3.5 million rupees).
Media reports also said police had acted after it received “vital information” that huge amount of money was being used by the office of the Karmapa Lama to buy land in and around Dharamsala to build a monastery.
“Right now we cannot disclose that how much money had been stored inside room in the monastery,” Kangra SSP Daljeet Singh Thakur was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times on Friday. Thakur, however, declined to share more details saying that the raids were still continuing.
The report further said the police was “not sure” whether the foreign currency recovered was “part of donations offered to Karmapa by his devotees” including several Chinese Buddhists from mainland China. Sleuths also recovered some significant document revealing about certain benami land transactions, the report said.
Media reports also said police returned to the Gyuto Monastery on Friday to question staff about the origins of local and foreign bank notes discovered on the premises.
Four-member team from Enforcement Directorate have arrived in Dharamsala today and are questioning Karmapa's sister.
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa escaped with his sister to India in January 2000.