Election officials seized ₹1.99 crore stashed inside the doors of a car in which a group of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) functionaries were travelling, at Perali in Perambalur district on Tuesday night.
The seizure led to a search by the Income Tax department on the premises of a private company, in which a VCK functionary was said to be a director, at Mannarpuram in Tiruchi on Wednesday. The search was on till late in the evening but there was no information about any seizure from the premises.
Late on Tuesday, election officials and a highway patrol team, acting on a tip-off, stopped a car at Perali toll plaza in Perambalur district. Its occupants, J. Thangadurai, a former VCK district secretary of Perambalur district, N. Prabakar, A. Thangam and J. Maras, were proceeding to Kuzhumur from Tiruchi.
Although they claimed that they were not transporting any cash, the officials conducted a check of the vehicle and found bundles of cash, in denominations of ₹500 and ₹2,000, stashed inside the doors of the vehicle. The vehicle was subsequently taken to the Perambalur Collector’s Office, where the election officials subjected the vehicle to further checks and counted the cash. The money, police suspect, was meant for distribution among voters in the Chidambaram (reserved) constituency, where VCK founder Thol. Thirumavalavan is contesting.
Subsequently, election officials referred the seizure to I-T officials, who questioned the four to identify the source of cash. Based on inputs provided by them, an I-T team conducted a search on Elfin e-Com Private Limited, a multi-level marketing firm, at Mannarpuram. The vehicle in which the money was being transported was said to be owned by one of the directors of the company, incorporated in July 2017. The raid began around 11 a.m. This is the second major cash seizure from political functionaries within three days. I-T officials had seized ₹11.53 crore in Vellore district on Monday.
Seizure in Dharmapuri
Cash to the tune of ₹3.47 crore was seized from a government bus in Harur on Wednesday.
The cash was found stacked in unclaimed bags in a Dharmapuri-bound State Transport Corporation bus from Tiruvanamalai.
The static surveillance team (SST-III) led by P.K. Shanmugam, an engineer at the BDO’s office in Pappireddipatti, intercepted the bus near Bayanaikkanpatty.
Seven bags stuffed with cash were found without any claimants. The amount was deposited in the Sub treasury, Harur. In one of the bags, a passbook and an ID of one Ramesh of Vettavalam were found. A State Transport Corporation staff, Selvaraj, from Tiruvannamalai, who was in the seat and was the man who booked the luggage, has been taken into custody.