EC stops 3 trucks with Rs 570 cr in TN, driver claims it’s SBI money

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Officials of the Election Commission stopped three trucks containing Rs 570 crore on Saturday morning in poll-bound Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur district and are verifying claims that the money was for an inter-bank transfer.

The drivers of the trucks claimed that they were taking the money from a State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Coimbatore to Visakhapatnam.

“A container has been stopped which was purportedly transferring Rs 195 crore for the bank after doubts were raised,” Tamil Nadu’s chief electoral officer Rajesh Lakhoni said.

“Additional documents that have been examined show that the total amount of money is Rs 570 crore for an SBI transfer. No amount of money has been seized yet,” he said.

EC officials are verifying the documents provided by the drivers.

The flying squad of the election department, along with paramilitary forces, stopped the three trucks early on Saturday during a routine vehicle check on Perumanallur-Kunnathur bypass, according to police.

The containers escorted by three cars did not halt and officials chased and stopped them near Chengapalli.

The drivers, who claimed to be policemen from Andhra Pradesh but were not in uniform, told officials they were transferring the money from SBI in Coimbatore to a branch in Visakhapatnam.

They told the police they feared it was a robbery attempt and were unaware that the officials were from the election department.

Bank officials from Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam were informed and are rushing to the spot, police said.

More than Rs 100 crore have been seized by the Election Commission in the run-up to the May 16 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

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