Blackmoney in polls: EC creates multi-agency intelligence grid

Blackmoney in polls: EC creates multi-agency intelligence grid

Blackmoney in polls: EC creates multi-agency intelligence grid

The Election Commission has created a multi-agency grid of revenue and security intelligence agencies to regularly update it about suspected financial movements as part of measures to curb use of blackmoney in Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

In a first-of-its-kind measure, the EC has created a board of senior officials drawn from ten financial and security intelligence departments which will meet twice a week at 'Nirvachan Sadan', the EC headquarters here, to generate common leads and flag suspect money instances.

The agencies that have been pooled in for the task include Income Tax intelligence and investigations, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau and the snoop wings of border guarding forces of SSB and BSF and those of CISF and the Railway Protection Force.

"The officials in-charge of intelligence in these respective departments will meet twice a week at the EC headquarters and take stock of all cases reported in view of the measures enforced by the poll body keeping in mind blackmoney instances," a senior official privy to the development told PTI.

This is the first time that these officials will be holding meeting sessions with the EC in comparison to previous times when they would only generate and send reports, the official said.

The EC has also asked these agencies to compile their respective information in a standard format so that the poll panel is updated about the use of illegal money and other inducements in the polls.

A comprehensive report prepared after these meetings would be shared with the respective Chief Electoral Offices of various states and Union Territories.

Sources said EC has put maximum stress on reports generated by the FIU and I-T intelligence in this regard as these two agencies are mandated under law to obtain information from banks and other financial intermediaries across the country.

Apart from the revenue agencies, the intelligence wings of the Border Security Force will keep an eye on movement of cash, fake currency and drugs from across the Pakistan and Bangladesh borders while the same would be done by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) along the Nepal and Bhutan borders.