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Dharamshala: Himachal Pradesh Police have today, arrested Rabjaychojan alias Shakti Lama, a close aide of 17th Karmapa from his monastery, near Dharamshala, upon discovering a large amount of unaccountable foreign and Indian currency stashed in his private room.

In a joint operation launched by police teams from Una and Dharamshala, police raided the private residence of Shakti Lama, an accountant at the Gyoto Tantric monastery, responsible for maintaining accounts of foreign donations offered to the 17th Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorje. The money was in currencies of China, Japan, the US, the UK, Australia, Thailand and several other countries and so far six suitcases had been unearthed, police said. According to reports, the collective amount was up to four crore rupees. However, police have not confirmed the amount stating, "the recovery and counting of the foreign currency is still on and the amount will be ascertained soon," said SSP of Kangra District Daljit Singh Thakur.

The arrest was made in connection with the seizure of unaccounted money from two people on Wednesday night. Police have identified the two arrested, as Sanjay and Ashutosh from Una for the possession of 1 crore rupees, without documentation. The Police have yet to ascertain whom the money belonged to what its purpose was, however, they believe the money was meant for some 'illegal' land deal in Dharamshala, with the involvement of Karmapa's aide Rabgay Choesang.

Director General of Police D S Manhas said, “We suspect the entire currency was brought to the state illegally, possibly through hawala routes. Investigations are being carried out with the help of top central agencies. Our teams have already left for four places, including Delhi, Chandigarh, Ambala and Dharamshala.”

'The raid on Karmapa's monastery was conducted following seizure of Rs.1 crore from two people last (Wednesday) night,' Manhas told The Tibet Post International, adding that if necessary they would question the Karmapa. As yet, the Karmapa's office have not commented on the origin of the currency.

More to follow.

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