Three inconspicuous lockers at the badminton court of the 130-year-old Bowring Institute club in Bengaluru have now become the latest scandal in town. Employees who were cleaning the unused lockers found Rs 550 crore worth cash, gold and property documents on Saturday, leading to an I-T raid.Too busy to read? Listen to the story instead.The Income Tax (I-T) department, investigating the owner of the lockers, Avinash Amarlal Kukreja, says the documents received during the raid have provided crucial clues for some ongoing high-profile cases.The investigation is now probing a large-scale money laundering scam, involving a few top politicians, including a Cabinet minter in the Karnataka government. According to club officials, a man claiming to be the minister’s aide paid a discreet visit to the club demanding documents from the lockers on the night of the raid.All this because Avinash Kukreja forgot to renew his locker subscription.How Did the Hidden Treasure Come to Light?According the Bowring club’s statement, following the complaint that members were not getting club lockers facility, a notice was issued to 120 members to renew their locker membership. 16 July was set as the deadline for the renewal. However, several members, including Kukreja, failed to show up.The club then decided to open the 625 unclaimed lockers in the presence of five club officials and a videographer on 21 July. When the team opened lockers 61, 70 and 71, they discovered the hidden treasure.The LootSo far, the I-T department has recovered approximately Rs 550 crore worth land documents, Rs 3.90 crore in cash in bundles of Rs 2,000 notes and Rs 500 notes, diamonds worth Rs 7.80 crore, 600 gm of gold biscuits, 5 gold coins of 10 gm each, four bracelets and two expensive watches worth over Rs 40 lakh.They also found undated and signed chequebooks and several unnamed cheque leaves for amounts between Rs 5 crore and Rs 50 crores.Who is Avinash Kukreja?Kukreja belongs to the influential Sindhi community of Bengaluru and his father Assardas Amarlal was a well-known financier in the city.Kukreja has a range of businesses. He owns a tyre showroom, a rice mill and a construction company, apart from investments in other businesses. However, he was known as a financier for many in the corridors of power, said I-T department officials.He currently resides in Shantinagar in the heart of the city. However, he had purchased an apartment in the posh UB city on Vittal Mallya Road in Bengaluru, said reports.Cabinet Minister Linked to the Scam?According to reports, the day the money and documents were recovered, a middle-aged man claiming be the aide of a politician managed to sneak in to the club. While the Income Tax department officials were busy going through the documents, this man reportedly entered the office of HS Srikanth, the secretary of the club, and pleaded him to return a few files. The club officials reportedly refused to provide him the documents and before they could inform the I-T officials, he escaped from the club.Although I-T department has not made any official statements about the politician, sources said that he is a Cabinet minister in the JD(S)-Congress government and he is already under the radar of the I-T department.Wife Calls the Amount ExaggeratedAlthough Kukreja has not made a statement, in an interview to The Times of India, his wife claimed the amount was exaggerated and that all the property found in lockers is legal. The wife, who preferred to remain anonymous, said her husband is not in the right frame of mind to make a statement.“There’s a lot of exaggeration and a bunch of lies… Everyone who knows us knows it is an exaggeration. We can’t explain things to everyone. People who matter know what we are,” she told TOI.She added that she was not aware of the man who allegedly visited the club secretary and said that the media is filing reports against her family without proof. We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.