Metrolife: Stopped by cops? Here’s why

Metrolife: Stopped by cops? Here’s why

Police routinely check cars, especially their boot, on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway. Elections are coming up on May 12.

With Assembly elections just 10 days away, 400-odd police checkposts are busy stopping vehicles to look for cash and other voter inducements.

Under instructions from Election Commission, the city police have been working round the clock, peering into private cars and vans. Typically, they ask the vehicles to open the boot, besides their bags and glove boxes.

Bengaluru has 28 constituencies, each with three static checkposts and six flying squads. “We check all kinds of vehicles, even two-wheelers,” City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar explains.

Police recently caught a man in a bus carrying Rs 50 lakh in a suitcase. “We also seized a car carrying Rs 1.5 crore in unaccounted cash,” Suneel Kumar told Metrolife.

This checkpost near Thoms Bakery, Fraser Town, uses metal barricades.
Night Vigil: This checkpost near Thoms Bakery, Fraser Town, uses metal barricades.

If police find more than Rs 10 lakh on a person, they notify the income tax department, which then swings into action.

One vehicle was carrying 52 kilos of gold and Rs 20 lakh in cash. It was going from Devanahalli to Mico Layout.

Up to Rs 50,000 can be carried in cash, but anything above that calls for documentary evidence, he says.

“Areas with a history of communal tension and places where violence erupts for no reason are considered sensitive. Also, localities with large slums are usually prone to inducements. They are under closer scrutiny,” he explains.

A senior police officer says black money is transported through diverse channels. “The money is split and sent through multiple channels. So if they lose one source, the others are still safe,” he says. Money is always transported during the day because the checks are more stringent at night.

Police say it is humanly impossible to check every single vehicle. “We check those driven in a suspicious manner. We can tell from the driver’s body language if something is amiss,” the officer says.


Under scrutiny

Police have seized cash and material, but not made any arrests.

“Documents of those caught carrying cash and gold are still being verified. And small amounts don’t mandate an arrest.”
- T Suneel Kumar, Police Commissioner

Jail term

The punishment for carrying unaccounted cash is a fine and imprisonment of six months to a year.

What they have confiscated

  • Cash: Rs 6.7 crore
  • Gold: 52 kg
  • Saris: 870
  • Water bottles worth: Rs 22,000
  • Mixies worth: Rs 36,000
  • Hotboxes worth: Rs 5,000
  • Sewing machines worth: Rs 25,000
  • Mysore peta (turbans) worth: Rs 8,000
  • Pressure cookers (120) worth: Rs 1 lakh