Cash flowing into poll-bound Karnataka: I-T dept

Director General of Income Tax, Investigation, Karnataka and Goa, has stepped up its surveillance and monitoring activities as part of enhanced alertness in the wake of Assembly elections in Karnataka on May 12.

The I-T sleuths believe that currency notes seem to be flowing in poll-bound Karnataka.

So far, the sleuths have seized Rs 4.13 crore cash and 4.52 kg gold jewels valued at Rs 1.32 crore.

Majority of the currency notes seized are in denomination of Rs 2000 and Rs 500. Out of Rs 4.13 crores, an amount of Rs. 4.03 crore is in these denominations.

“When people are finding it difficult to withdraw notes from banks and ATMs, seizure of high denominations is raising eyebrows,” states a press release from Director General of Income Tax, Investigation, Karnataka and Goa.

Bengaluru city tops the list of seizures made with Rs. 2.47 crore, followed by Ballari with Rs 55 lakh.

The department is into intelligence gathering at various places of public transport and its Air Intelligence Units are keeping a close watch in all the airports in Karnataka and also in the neighbouring Goa.

“There are reports of cash shortage in some parts of the country, cash seems to be flowing into poll-bound Karnataka,’’ it said.

A person carrying Rs 16.5 lakh was intercepted at one of the airports, but he failed to explain the source of the cash. The sleuths seized Rs 37 lakh cash from his Mumbai premises. In total, the sleuths have seized Rs 53.50 lakh unaccounted cash from him.

In one of the districts, a contractor had transferred Rs 55 lakh to a person who had withdrawn it. The taxmen detained the duo and the contractor admitted to concealment of Rs 16 crore.

In another case, household articles worth Rs 9.51 crore intended for distribution was found in a warehouse near Mysore. During the investigation, it was established that the articles were meant for distribution.

The sleuths have informed the district election officer to initiate measures against the distribution of the articles. In another case, Rs 50 lakh was seized from a private
person.

The Income tax department has set up a 24x7 control room in Bengaluru to receive complaints. It has also formed strike teams with statutory powers in all districts. The department is keeping a strict vigil in all airports in Karnataka and Goa.

The Investigation Wing has collected contract payment details of the last quarter and is comparing them with previous years’ details to identify abnormal cases. The sleuths are co-relating bank transactions and cash withdrawals, the release stated.

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