Guwahati, April 3, 2019
At least Rs 1.96 crore in cash in various interceptions including at airports have been seized across the Northeast region since the Modal Code of Conduct (MCC) came into effect on March 10th, 2019, a press communiqué issued by the Income Tax stated.
The Income Tax Principal Director (Investigation) Sanjay Bahadur in a press conference said over 150 officials have been deployed across the Northeast to monitor 112 districts and 12 airports.
The official said banks are being used as safe conduits to hide and move suspicious cash, which came into light after procuring 10 days’ data from five major banks.
“Even from this small sample, hundreds of suspicious cash deposits and withdrawals in banks for amounts more than Rs 10 lakh have been discovered and are under scanner. Inquiries have already been initiated in about 200 cases so far,” Bahadur said.
The official said the Directorate’s independent intelligence gathering initiative has thrown up an alarming fact that huge amounts of suspicious cash has been deposited in banks, including rural and cooperative ones, in the weeks preceding announcement of elections.
“Huge amounts of suspicious cash withdrawals have also been made. These transactions have so far gone below the radar of routine process of election expenditure monitoring and the ground level intelligence indicates it is highly possible that substantial part of this cash flow is being misused for vitiating free and fair elections,” he added.
“As on April 2, seizures of Rs 1.96 crore cash in various interceptions, including at airports, have been made in Northeast under Income Tax Act since announcement of election dates,” Bahadur said.