The customs department detained two women traders at Nathu-la border point yesterday for allegedly carrying 1.5 lakh Yuan and raided the home and shop of a businessman in Gangtok later on the suspicion that he had given the money to them.
Sources in the customs said it was unclear as to why the two women were carrying the cash while crossing the border for annual trade between India and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China.
Each Indian is allowed to carry a maximum of Rs 30,000 for the border trade. As per the exchange rate today, 1.5 lakh Yuan is equivalent to close to Rs 15 lakh.
"The women were Lobzang Doma of Rabong in South Sikkim and Tenzing Bhutia of Burtuk area in Gangtok," said a source in the customs department.
Both of them are registered traders and engaged in bilateral trade through the Nathu-la border at 14,500ft.
"During interrogation, the women revealed that the currency had been sent by a businessman at MG Marg. We raided his house at Arithang and shop at MG Marg," said the source.
The customs officials reached the shop of Raj Kumar Agarwal at MG Marg around 4pm yesterday for the raid.
He runs a shop which sells Patanjali products but is also engaged in currency exchange.
The sources said a case would be registered against the two women and Agarwal once the probe was over.
"The investigation is in the initial stage. We are unable to provide any form of information as we are not authorised to speak to others," said a senior official of the customs at Development Area here.(TT)