The agency has kept an eye on trans-border hawala operations

Chennai has emerged as the centre of "doubtful" transactions during an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate into suspected illegal expenditure by candidates and their associates in the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

The directorate has shared these inputs with officials of the Election Commission and other departments in the State for corroboration and action.

The ED has been providing information on suspicious monetary transactions to its counterparts in the States for field operations. It carried out a search against a hawala operator in the national capital a few days ago.

During the raid, ED officials seized Rs. 5.4 crore in cash and over 100 kg of imported silver from the operator at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. Further investigations led to seizure of foreign currency.

The ED is part of a committee set up by the Election Commission to collect and share intelligence on use of black money in the election. The directorate has been instructed to attach assets of candidates and their relatives in case of violation of money laundering laws.

The agency has also kept an eye on trans-border hawala operations and supply of election-related funds through hawala operators. It has been asked to investigate undeclared foreign assets having political linkages in the country.

The EC has seized over Rs. 200 crore in connection with the operations conducted across the country against use of unaccounted money in the elections.