A field assistant from Research & Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency, can be heard explaining a covert, currency exchange operation involving the PMO and BJP President Amit Shah.
Releasing the sensational video clip, former Union Minister Kapil Sibal told newsmen on Tuesday that the clips confirmed his worst suspicion that Demonetisation was the biggest financial scam that India has seen.
In the video clip Rahul Rathanekar, with his wife by his side, is sitting in a suite in Hotel Trident, Mumbai and explaining the operation. As much as Rs three lakh Crore, he claims, were printed abroad in duplicate and flown to the Indian Air Force base at Hindon on the border of Delhi, from where the currency get transferred to the RBI.
He names one Nipun Sharan in the PMo as the person coordinating the operation. Sibal mentions that in all probability it is a pseudonym since his enquiries about a man with this name had drawn a blank.
But the field operative names Amit Shah twice in the video clip and says that during the currency exchange, it was ensured that no intervention would be made by any other agency including the police. A team of 26 people had been formed to oversee this currency transaction.
“ I hope your owners allow you to air this,” Sibal taunts the newsmen. And true enough, NDTV, which was broadcasting the press conference live, cut off just before the start of the sting video. There was radio silence from mainstream media till evening and even otherwise active Twitter handles of editors and journalists did not touch the sensitive and sensational video.
If the R&AW operative is to be believed, the RBI had been printing 30 to 35% of the currency abroad and a substantial part of it was duplicated, he alleged.
In another sensational clip, the manager of the Fort branch of IndusInd bank in Mumbai, Sanjay Shane, is seen facilitating the exchange of ₹100 Crore of old currency with new currency. The transaction takes place in a godown of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation. Shane is told that there were clients waiting to exchange as much as ₹320 Crore.
Sibal alleged that Amit Shah was the king pin after Demonetisation for facilitating exchange of old currency for new.
Sibal claimed that a team headed by the BJP chief Amit Shah had exchanged the old currency notes at the commission of 15-40 per cent after the demonetisation was announced in 2016.
According to Sibal, the exchange was conducted by a special team drawn from officials from all departments under the Modi government.
“And the team was headed by BJP chief Amit Shah,” he emphasised. before alleging that currency from ministers and business houses were brought in planes to Hindon air base from where it was taken to the Reserve Bank - at a charge of 35 to 40 per cent.
“It is sad that our agencies will investigate the opposition, but not those in power,” said Sibal, hinting at the series of investigations and raids that have been taking place over the last weeks against MP Chief Minister Kamalnath.
Saibal also said that the Election Commission (EC) is not taking any action against the ruling BJP despite many complaints filed by the main opposition party against the BJP.
“We have given them (the Election Commission) so many complaints. They are not acting, and we don’t have the time to go to court since elections are round the corner,” said Sibal.