I-T dept raids multiple locations in TN to check suspect poll cash
Chennai: The Income-Tax Department on Friday conducted searches at multiple locations in Tamil Nadu on suspicion of alleged illegal cash being pumped in to lure voters in the poll-bound state, officials said.
They said a total of 18 locations in Chennai, Namakkal and Tirunelveli are being raided since early morning hours. In the first instance, tax sleuths are searching the premises of a contractor firm--PSK Engineering Construction Company-- on charges of routing and possession of alleged "unaccounted cash".
Three premises in Chennai and four linked to the company in Namakkal are being raided, they said.
In the second case, the Chennai investigation wing of the department is searching a group of cash handlers and financiers against whom the sleuths obtained information that they are allegedly "mobilising cash for possible use in elections."
The locations linked to two individuals identified as Akash Baskaran and Sujai Reddy are also being searched, they said.
While 10 premises in Chennai are being searched, one in Tirunelveli is being raided in connection with second case, they said.
Polls in the 39 seats of Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry would be held on April 18, the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, a day after Bangalore Central Congress candidate Rizwan Arshad claimed that three of his associates and his campaign office were raided by I-T officials, Income Tax authorities confirmed that their officers raided premises belonging to three businessmen in Bangalore, Chitradurga, and Kolkata on Thursday. Without taking names, I-T officials in Bangalore said they have recovered Rs 85 lakh in unaccounted cash and 13.5 kg of jewellery from these raids.
Crying foul over the searches, Arshad claimed that the raids on his associates had spilled over to his campaign office. But tax sleuths have categorically denied any link of the search with the 2019 Lok Sabha candidate.