VELLORE: A day after stumbling on a huge haul of cash and gold ornaments from a folk artiste’s house at Tharapadaveedu on Sunday, police sealed the houses of the artiste’s relatives in Vasanthapuram and launched a search for her.
Acting on a tip-off that Mohanambal (50), a folk artiste and a resident of Vasanthapuram near Vellore Corporation Office, had stacked crores of rupees in her rented house, the police cordoned off the stretch of Govindaraj Mudaliyar Street in Tharapadaveedu on Sunday morning.
With the help of the house owner Jamuna (55), who was also a folk artiste, the police contacted Mohanambal over the phone and asked her to reach the house immediately. But after waiting till 5 pm for Mohanambal, police decided to force open the portion of the house. The six-hour raid that ended at 11 pm was videographed.
The police obtained permission from the Executive Magistrate and broke open the house in the presence of Revenue Inspector A C Vinayagamurthy, VAO G Dilip Kumar, house owner Jamuna and appraiser M Murthy. In the tiny rented portion measuring 70 sq ft, the police team found cartons of currency notes under the denominations of `1,000, `500 and `100 in bags.
District police sources said that 313 bundles of `1,000 denomination currency notes (100 nos) amounting to `3.13 crore; 183 bundles of `500 denomination currency notes (100 nos) amounting to `91.50 lakh;and `23,500 of various denominations of currency notes were found in cartons, gunny bags and small carry bags. “The bundles stuffed in the gunny bags were found beneath a dining table. Apart from the cash, we seized 599.600 grams (73 sovereigns) of gold ornaments and deposit bond paper worth `6.60 lakh from the house. We found the name of one Nirmala in the bond paper,” said a police officer.
The police team were surprised to see the huge amount of cash in the house. In fact, the police team carried out the raid under a veil of secrecy. The seizure of the cash came to light around 9 pm on Sunday.
The enquiry disclosed that Mohanambal took two portions of Jamuna’s house for a monthly rent of `1,500 two months ago. She told Jamuna that she needed the portion where she could safely keep her belongings.
Superintendent of Police P Vijaykumar told Express that a case was registered under Section 102 of the CrPC and seized the cash and jewels. “The seized valuables and cash would be produced before the Executive Magistrate of the jurisdiction.”
The police has also sent a photocopy of the FIR of the case to the Magistrate of the Judicial Magistrate Court in Katpadi. The SP formed special teams under DSP of Vellore Panneerselvam and inspector and Investigation Officer of the case A T Ramachandran to track down Mohanambal, who is at large.
The police have sealed six houses, including that of one Saravanan, a habitual offender, in Vasanthapuram and are conducting an enquiry to find out of the source of the cash and jewels.