177 kg gold, Rs 130 cr seized from TN businessmen trio

Chennai, Dec 10 (IANS) The Income Tax department has seized a whopping 177 kg gold – the highest seizure ever in the country – and Rs 130 crore, of which Rs 34 crore was in new denomination currency, in raids on three businessmen in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district, an official said.

The total seizure so far has been 177 kg of the precious metal and cash amounting to Rs 96 crore in withdrawn notes and Rs 34 crore in the new denomination notes, an IT official told IANS.

As much as Rs 24 crore in Rs 2,000 notes was found stashed inside a car in Vellore.

According to the official, the seized cash will be deposited with the Reserve Bank of India and a probe is on in the matter.

This was the third day of the IT raids on three businessmen — J. Shekhar Reddy, Srinivasalu and Prem — that started on December 8.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Friday said the IT department had seized Rs 96.89 crore cash in old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, and Rs 9.63 crore in new Rs 2,000 denomination along with gold weighing 127 kg worth approximately Rs 36.29 crore.

The big fish is said to be Reddy, from whose car the money was seized, who is a contractor and has executed works for Tamil Nadu government.

He was also a Board Member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD). On Saturday the Andhra Pradesh government removed him from that post following the raids and cash/gold seizure.