PUDUCHERRY: Two crores cash and 30,000 set top boxes worth Rs 2 crores have been seized by election department of Puducherry on suspicions of its use for pleasing the voters.
The Flying Squad Team of the Returning Officer – III during its routine inspection rounds on Thursday intercepted a private vehicle used by banks for transporting cash at about 5.00 PM near Thanthai Periyar Nagar in the Kadirgamam assembly constituency.
Chief Electoral Officer Shurbir Singh in a statement said that "the vehicle was carrying cash to the tune of 2 crores in denominations of 500, 200 and 100."
On enquiry by the FST, the source of the cash was revealed to be a private bank in Puducherry. However, the persons in the intercepted vehicle could not produce valid documents to show the destination where the cash was being taken to.
"Since this raises the prospect of the cash being intended for illegal distribution to the voters while the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for the Assembly Elections 2021 is in force, the Flying Squad seized the Rs 2 crore cash, and handed the case over to the Income Tax Department, Government of India for further investigation," said the CEO.
In Bahour constituency, the Flying Squad Team of the Returning Officer – 8 seized 30,000 set top boxes worth Rs 2 crores from a house.
Acting on a complaint received in the 1950 Control Room at 2.30 pm on Thursday, the Flying squad conducted a search at a private residence in Mariamman Koil Street, Kattukuppam, near Bahour and found 60,000 number of Set Top Boxes worth about Rupees two crore. The set top boxes were stored in the first floor of the house, with the ground floor occupied by the owner. On enquiry, the items were found to be manufactured by an Ahmedabad-based firm and sold to a local firm in Thiruvandar Koil.
“However, no permits could be produced by the house-owner for holding the huge stock of the set top boxes at the said location. Therefore, the FST in the presence of the Sub-Inspector of Police, Kirumampakkam seized the items and sealed the site,” said the CEO.
Complaint has been lodged with the Police under the relevant provisions of the IPC and the Representation of People’s Act, said the CEO.
It may be recalled that that on Wednesday, flying squad seized 8000 set top boxes on Gorimedu border. Incidentally these also have been transported from Ahmedabad to Thiruvandarkoil.