Of a total of ₹628.53 crore cash seized by various enforcement agencies across the country since the model code of conduct came into force on March 10, Tamil Nadu topped the list with ₹181.08 crore.
According to the seizure report released by the Election Commission of India (ECI), the worth of cash, liquor, gold and silver seized in the state amounted to ₹475.95 crore.
Of the total cash seized in Tamil Nadu, a major portion was from Tirupur district. According to ECI officials, most of the cash seized in Coimbatore and Tirupur were being carried for business purposes. “People did not carry the appropriate papers while transporting the cash. However, after a few days, they showed the source of income after which the cash was released,” said a returning officer from Tirupur.
Apart from cash seizures, I-T officials also carried out a series of raids across the state. An I-T raid was first carried out in Chennai where nearly ₹11 crore was seized from the residence of a corporation contractor. Subsequently, based on a tip, officials raided premises of DMK treasurer Durai Murugan and his son Kathir Anand, who is the Vellore Lok Sabha DMK candidate.
Though officials could not seize any money from their residences, they managed to seize nearly ₹10 crore belonging to Srinivasan, a DMK functionary in the Vellore district. A case against the Kathir Anand and Srinivasan was also registered in the Katpadi police station.
On April 13, based on a tip officials raided seven places belong to a private contractor and managed to seize about ₹13.8 crore in unaccounted cash. It is believed that the cash was being hoarded to distribute to voters.
However, at certain places, poll officials have allegedly seized cash without giving valid reasons. Recently, two businessmen from Tirupur were on their way to Kochi to attend an exporters’ meeting and were carrying sample clothes to be showcased at the meet.
They were intercepted at the Tamil Nadu–Kerala border by poll officials who seized the clothes which were worth less than ₹10,000. “The worth of the clothes was less than ₹10,000, but officials added the worth of the clothes worn by us and the driver to the total,” said the businessman on condition of anonymity.