Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Centre Moves To Choke Off Flow Of Cash & Drugs During Polls

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Centre Moves To Choke Off Flow Of Cash & Drugs During Polls

The Ministry of Finance has issued a standard operating procedure for Customs, GST and DRI formations to prevent flow of suspicious cash, illicit liquor, drugs / narcotics, freebies and smuggled goods during elections.

Somendra SharmaUpdated: Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 11:04 PM IST
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Election Commission of India | File pic

Mumbai: The Ministry of Finance has issued a standard operating procedure for Customs, GST and DRI formations to prevent flow of suspicious cash, illicit liquor, drugs / narcotics, freebies and smuggled goods during elections.

According to government officials, recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had issued instructions regarding reporting of major seizures (more than Rs1 crore) during the elections and implementation of Electronic Seizure Management System (ESMS) for reporting interception / seizures made by various enforcement agencies on a real-time basis.

“The ECI has expressed concern that smuggled goods / contrabands and other illicit articles may be used to lure the voters during the election process, which would need to be checked by the law enforcement agencies. Another aspect that would require focused attention is the use of non-monetary inducements and cash to lure voters, which too would need to be checked by keeping strict vigil on warehouses, etc, to prevent the stocking of such goods for distribution,” the communication shared by the government stated.

“The agencies should direct their intelligence units to gather information and develop intelligence to effectively prevent unfair and unauthorised practices that could vitiate the elections. All out efforts should be made to detect and seize illicit currency, liquor, gold, FICN, NDPS and other contraband. The Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management shall carry out a special analytical study of items (sarees, shirts, caps, masks, scarves, white goods, kitchen items, etc) that might be associated with the candidate or political party in the poll-bound assembly or constituency and could be used as an inducement for votes in the said states.

“The DRI should increase its vigil along the international border / airports and its information gathering mechanism to check the flow of foreign currency / gold / narcotics, etc, that could potentially be used for malpractices during the elections. Random checks of the stocks of potential warehouses and shops can be made by GST officers to ensure that no unaccounted goods are removed under cash transactions,” the communication said.

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