In their biggest ever seizure till date ever since the model code of conduct came into effect in Tamil Nadu, electoral officials in Tamil Nadu seized about Rs 570 crore from three containers today during checking in Tirupur district, which the occupants of the vehicles claimed was for inter-bank money transfer.
The Election Commission has formed an investigating committee to look into the matter. “Vehicles have not been seized and the containers haven’t been opened. They are likely to be released soon if documents are in order,” said Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni.
The flying squad of the election department, along with paramilitary forces, seized the cash early Saturday morning during a routine vehicle check on Perumanallur-Kunnathur bypass road, police said. The containers, escorted by three cars, did not halt, but officials chased them and stopped them near Chengapalli.
The Election Commission has so far recovered over Rs 100 crore unaccounted cash in Tamil Nadu since poll notification in March. Tamil Nadu will go to polls in a single phase on May 16.
Keeping in view the abuse of money power in Tamil Nadu, the Election Commission had last month also issued some special instructions to be followed by observers and members of the surveillance teams deployed in the state.
The model code of conduct came into effect in the first week of March and cash seizures started then. Raids have been intensified over the last few weeks. The nominations for the upcoming elections in the state were filed on April 22 and so far, the raids have yielded large amounts of unaccounted cash.