A former West Bengal BJP leader along with six others were arrested with bundles of new Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 33 lakh from here.
The leader has been identified as Manish Sharma who was BJP’s candidate form Ranigunj in Burdwan district in the assembly polls earlier this year. He was expelled from the party earlier this year.
According to police, Sharma and six other persons involved in mining business were arrested from Baguihati while trying to exchange old currency notes in bulk, said a senior officer of Kolkata police's Special Task Force (STF).
Police said that the STF had some specific input that the group was travelling in an Innova car from the Asansol-Durgapur to Kolkata with lots of cash and arms.
Police said that they seized Rs 10 lakh from Sharma’s possession while another Rs 23 lakh was recovered from six others.
The arrested men were also carrying several improvised semi-automatics guns and a Carl Walther pistol and ammunition, police said.
Raju Jha, one of the people in the group, is suspected to be part of the coal mafia in the Asansol area.
Police records show that Sharma is listed as Manish Joshi whose father lives in Pune. In his voter card, his residential address is Hyderabad. At Raniganj, BJP leaders, however, said that Sharma has nothing to do with the party since June 30.