Bengaluru: Income Tax (I-T) officials on Saturday seized Rs 4.13 crore in cash and 4.52-kg gold jewellery valued at Rs 1.32 crore during raids conducted over the last three weeks in poll-bound Karnataka.
"Of the total Rs 4.13 crore seized, Rs 4.03 crore is in Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 currency notes, with Bengaluru accounting for Rs 2.47 crore and Ballari Rs 55 lakh," said state I-T Director-General (Investigations) G Ramesh in a statement here.
The rich mining Ballari town is 330 km from Bengaluru.
A single-phase election to the 225-member Karnataka Assembly, including one nominated candidate, is scheduled on May 12 across the southern state, with vote count on May 15.
"We have stepped up surveillance and monitoring of activities in view of the state assembly election. Seizure of higher denomination raises eyebrows, as people are finding difficulty in drawing cash from banks and ATMs due to its shortage in some parts of the country," asserted Ramesh.
High alertness at airports and railway stations across the state led to the detection of a person carrying Rs 16.5-lakh in cash at one of the airports without valid proof of its source.
"A follow-up action against the accused person led to detection and seizure of additional Rs 37 lakh in his Mumbai premises. We have seized all the cash amounting to Rs 53.50 lakh," pointed out Ramesh.
During the raid, the sleuths seized Rs 55 lakh in cash from a person to whom a contractor paid in a district and confession by the latter of concealing Rs 16 crore to evade paying income tax on it.
In another case, household articles valued at Rs 9.51 crore intended for distribution was found in a warehouse near Mysuru.
"Investigation revealed that the articles were meant for distribution was found in a warehouse near Mysuru," claimed Ramesh.
Rs 50 lakh cash was seized from a person, whose name and the place has not been released.
"We have set up a 24x7 control room in the city to receive election-related complaints from the public and other state agencies. Strike teams have also been formed with powers in all the 30 districts to act," said Ramesh.
The bank's investigation cell has gathered details of contract payments made in the last quarter of the fiscal 2017-18 and is comparing them with the previous years to identify abnormalty.
"We are also co-relating bank transactions and cash withdrawals with other officials," added Ramesh.