Guwahati, April 9 (IANS) Income tax sleuths have seized illegal cash worth Rs 5.84 crore between March 12 to April 8 this year from the eight Northeastern states, officials said on Tuesday.
The amount is 482 per cent more than the cash seizure made during the general elections of 2014, when it was only Rs 1.21 crore, the Income Tax (I-T) Department officials said, adding that the cash seized in just 27 days of election time enforcement is more than 50 per cent of the unexplained cash seized in the whole of fiscal 2017-18.
With most of the Northeastern states going to the polls in the first phase on April 11, the final date of polling in the region is April 23.
The seizures come in the wake of the Directorate of Income Tax (Investigation), Northeast Region, intensifying its vigil post the poll announcement and an intensification of the intelligence and enforcement drives to counter the flow of black money during elections.
The Directorate has deployed over 160 I-T sleuths at strategic locations across the region, including Air Intelligence Teams at 12 airports. This has resulted in all-time high cash seizures of unexplained money during any election period in the Northeast, the officials said.
As a first, the Directorate has also initiated investigation into hundreds of suspicious cash deposits and withdrawals above Rs 10 lakh through banks across the region. In this mammoth exercise, the I-T authorities are being assisted by the Centre’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and 68 banks.
The Directorate is going to use big data mining and analytics tools to identify high risk transactions and it is expected that the investigation of these transactions will unearth substantial amounts of black money.