The Income Tax department, which has been in the process of seizing large amounts of cash being transported allegedly by political entities during the Lok Sabha elections, seized Rs 4.3 crore cash in raids across Karnataka and Goa.
It recovered a large sum of Rs 2.3 crore stuffed in the spare tyre of a vehicle travelling from Bangaluru to Shivamogga and Bhadravati.
A video of the most innovative way of transporting illegal money this election season has surfaced where IT officials are seen pulling out wads of cash from the Stepney of a vehicle.
— ANI (@ANI) April 20, 2019
“On the receipt of credible input about the cash being transported from Bangalore to Shivamogga and Bhadravati, a cash handler was intercepted. Upon searching, Rs 2.3 crore of cash was recovered from the spare tyre of his vehicle in the denomination of Rs 2000 notes, IT official said.
“Cash of Rs. 2.30 crore has been found and follow-up searches are underway in Bhadravati, where the further seizure of Rs. 60 lakh is expected,” said the IT department official.
Throwing light on the shocking details about the extent of illicit money being circulated during the Lok Sabha elections, officials with the IT department also recovered Rs 1 crore in cash from the residence of a banker in Bagalkot, Karnataka.
“The intelligence suggested that the person is accumulating cash for distribution for election purposes. A seizure of Rs. 1 crore has been made so far in this case,” the department said. “Both these were cases where the seized cash was meant for distribution during elections.”
“What is interesting is that the persons in charge of cash transport and distribution had removed several notes from each bundle. An average of four notes was removed from each bundle of 100 notes of Rs 2,000 denomination, showing leakages even in this illegal cash distribution,” the tax department said.
“We carried out a search on two brothers who run a jewellery business in Goa. Two residential premises are covered in the search and two business premises. A search is being carried out on the basis of Information received that they mainly carry out business deals in cash and the cash so generated is potentially used for providing accommodation entries against cheque issued by the parties who need cash. Cash in excess of Rs 30 lakh is being seized from this premise,” the tax department said.
Cash in excess of Rs 10 lakh was also seized at Vijayapura in another search, it said.
The data released by the Election Commission of India had revealed that the IT sleuths had seized cash and contraband amounting to over Rs 2,600 crores until April 17 of this year. This comes as a shocker, considering only two phases of 2019 Lok Sabha elections have concluded so far and the amount seized until now is already almost double of that seized during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Earlier, the election for the Vellore Lok Sabha was cancelled following the recovery of large scale cash recovery meant to bribe voters. More than Rs 11.50 crore was found with a DMK leader, and the cash was kept in cartons and gunny bags neatly packed with ward and division numbers written on them, indicating they were meant for distribution purposes.