The Income Tax (I-T) department has seized over Rs 16 crore of unaccounted cash from searches carried out in poll-bound Tamil Nadu.
As part of the election surveillance being carried out for the ensuing assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the I-T department conducted search actions on five premises in Chennai on Tuesday.
"These five premises belong to five entities, who, in addition to their regular business, are also acting as cash handlers. The action resulted in a cash seizure of Rs 5.32 crore," the Finance Ministry said in a release.
In a separate action, the I-T department on Wednesday carried out search and seizure operations on a business group engaged in yarn trading and supply of PPE kits, bags and baby care kits to various state governments. The searches were conducted in eight premises at Tirupur, Dharapuram and Chennai.
"The search has resulted in seizure of unaccounted cash of Rs 11.50 crore and total unaccounted income detected so far is Rs 80 crore. Further investigations are in progress," it said.
The searches revealed that the group is engaged in the practice of suppressing profit by inflating purchases and other expenses. The unaccounted income so generated is utilised for making investments in land and expansion of business, the release said.
The seizure of unaccounted cash will reduce the possibility of its utilisation for electoral purposes and will aid the objective of free and fair poll, the ministry said.
The I-T department, it said, has stepped up monitoring and is closely watching the cash movement during the ensuing assembly elections.
Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will go to poll in a single phase on April 6, while the votes will be counted on May 2.