The massive haul of US treasury bonds worth around Rs 28,000 crore from a Tamil Nadu-based stock broker are fake, a finance ministry official said on Saturday.
The government, however, is probing the frequent visits of the broker, TM Ramalingam, to Myanmar.
“The US treasury bonds (of face value of $5 billion) recovered from the trader have been found to be fake. However, we are trying to find why was he frequently visiting Myanmar,” the official said. Income tax authorities have interrogated Ramalingam, whose house was searched following a tip off from a foreign bank earlier this month.
On December 31, 2012, the I-T department had raided his residence at Dharapuram, Tirupur district, and seized the treasury bills along with several other documents.
Had they been genuine, the amount would have nearly equalled the total black money seized in two years. An Indian citizen can hold foreign currency assets of up to $200,000 in all forms but the holding has to be overseas. Any such investment made abroad in movable assets has to be converted into Indian currency on repatriation.
A bond issued by the US Fed can be held by a citizen from a country with convertible currency but India is not one of them. Fake bonds of such huge amount have been seized by the I-T department for the first time.