Mumbai: Ahead of poll, Rs 4 cr unaccounted cash seized in city so far

Mumbai: The income tax (IT) department has so far seized Rs 4 crore of unaccounted cash in Mumbai ahead of the state legislative assembly elections, scheduled to take place on October 21.

Director General (investigation), Income Tax Nitin Gupta said on Tuesday, cash seizures had been made from different locations in the city after the Election Commission's model code of conduct came into effect on September 24. He however, refused to give details of the seized cash, saying investigations were under way.

Meanwhile, the department has formed six Quick Response Teams (QRTs) to raid the transit or distribution of illicit money in the run-up to the election. Three of these teams have been stationed at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).

This apart, a total of 603 staff and officers of the department have been deployed across the state for maintaining surveillance on suspicious transportation of cash, of which 216 are in Mumbai. Pune and Nagpur have 259 and 128 taxmen on the job during the polls, respectively.

"From the four airports in the city (including private ones) to railway stations, our men have started mounting surveillance at all possible transit points to prevent the circulation of illegal cash during the election. We are working in close coordination with security agencies deployed at these places," Gupta said, adding that a nodal officer has been appointed to co-ordinate with various agencies and the EC during the elections.

Meanwhile, the department has set up a control room to receive calls (and act on) information received pertaining to circulation and distribution of unaccounted cash. A special toll-free helpline -- 1800221510 -- has been opened for citizens to alert the tax authorities about illegal cash as and when they came across such instances.

--Debasish Panigrahi

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