Election officials in Tamil Nadu seized about Rs. 570 crore from three containers on Saturday during checking in Tirupur district. The occupants of the vehicles claimed the amount was for inter-bank money transfer.
“Preliminary enquiy revealed that the money belonged to SBI. But the security guards didn’t carry original documents but only photocopies. Since it raised suspicion, the incident is being probed,” Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni told reporters. “A special team comprising IT officials and bank officials has been formed and sent there to probe the incident.”
Cash was being transferred to Vijaywada, Mr. Lakhoni added.
The flying squad of the election department, along with paramilitary forces, seized the cash early Saturday morning during a routine vehicle check on Perumanallur-Kunnathur bypass road, police said.
The containers, escorted by three cars, did not halt, but officials chased them and stopped them near Chengapalli.
A check revealed the amount kept in several boxes inside the containers, they said.
The men in the cars, who claimed to be plainclothesmen from Andhra Pradesh, told the officials that they were transferring Rs. 570 crore from State Bank of India in Coimbatore. Since they could not produce any document to support their claims, the vehicles were taken to the District Collectorate in Tirupur.
When asked whey they had sped away without stopping, they told the police that they feared it was a robbery attempt and that they were unaware that the officials were from the election department.