Karnataka: EC seizes cash worth Rs 19.69 cr

The investigation wing of the Income Tax Department has been doing intensive surveillance and monitoring activities in the State

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New Delhi: The Election Commission officials claimed here on Monday that up to 30 April, cumulatively, flying squads and other police authorities have seized cash worth 19.69 crore — with much of the money meant for illegal distribution.

The State election machinery and Income Tax Department officials have seized unexplained jewellery of value Rs 4.81 crore till now. Interestingly, the total cash seizure during 2013 polls was only Rs 4.97 crore and Rs 3.41 crore worth of jewellery.

In order to take action against the misuse of money in elections, EC officials, for the first time, teams with statutory powers and sufficient resources in terms of manpower, vehicles etc have been posted in each district of the State.

The investigation wing of the Income Tax Department has been doing intensive surveillance and monitoring activities in the State. The details of some of the major activities carried out by Income Tax department are as follows.

The Investigation Wing of the Income Tax Department, in one of the searches conducted in Mysore between 24 April and 26 April on several government contractors seized unaccounted cash of Rs 6.76 crore from four such contractors in the Mysore area. “The entire amount seized was in higher denomination notes i.e. Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 and the bulk of the seizure was made from lockers in benami names. The cash found and seized was not reflected in the books of account maintained by the contractors and they could not explain the source of the cash,” the EC said in a statement.

In another search operation, based on the specific intelligence that cash is hoarded by government contractors for being used for election purposes, search action were initiated in the cases of three contractors in Bangalore, Davangere and Mysore on 26 April and were concluded on 28 April.

“Unaccounted cash of Rs 4.08 crore and unexplained gold jewellery of Rs 2.79 Crore worth were seized. In one of the contractor’s case, cash of Rs 1.2 crore was found in a moving car,” the officials said.

On 28 April, based on the intelligence inputs that one person was funding certain candidates of a particular party, a search was conducted in Bangalore at 2 business premises and 1 residence, which continued for 32 hours and resulted in the seizure of Rs 3.18 crore of cash, concluded on early hours of 29 April. “Cash of Rs 2.00 crore was found in a car parked closed to the main person’s residence, which was found by the department after causing the thorough rummaging of the person’s premises and belongings,” the officials added.