Property documents, cash and valuables seized from close associates of Senthilbalaji: ED

The ED says officers conducted searches at nine locations linked to Senthilbalaji on August 3

Published - August 05, 2023 08:38 pm IST

The premises of Senthilbalaji’s close associate being searched by the Enforcement Directorate at Vedasandur recently.

The premises of Senthilbalaji’s close associate being searched by the Enforcement Directorate at Vedasandur recently.

Unexplained property documents, unaccounted cash amounting to ₹22lakh, valuable worth ₹16.6 lakh were seized by Enforcement Directorate following searches on August at 9 places linked to Minister Senthilbalaji who was arrested in a cash-for-jobs scam.

The ED said its officers conducted searches on August 3 at nine locations linked to Mr. Senthilbalaji, a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), who is currently in Central Prison, Puzhal, under judicial custody.

The central agency initiated investigation on the basis of three first information reports(FIRs) registered by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Chennai City Police related to the ‘cash for jobs scam.

During the investigation, intelligence inputs indicated that one of Senthilbalaji’s close associates, S.T. Saminathan, possessed incriminating documents/proceeds of the crime and attempted to hide/transfer them. Consequently, searches were conducted at his premises in Vedasandur, Dindiguil district. It was discovered during the search that Shanti, a relative of Saminathan, was acting as his benami and was seen moving bags containing documents and valuables, the ED alleged.

The ED said the investigative teams covered Ms. Shanti’s premises in Chakra Nagar, Paramathi Velur, Namakkal district. However, she was not present at the location.

Further, scrutiny of CCTV footage and investigation revealed that the bags had been handed over to the driver, Shiva, in Paramathi Velur.

When Mr. Shiva’s house was searched, he had already absconded and turned off his mobile phone upon hearing about the searches at Ms. Shanti’s house. During the search at his house, cash amounting to ₹22 lakh and valuables worth ₹16.6 lakh along with property documents for 60 land parcels were found.

Ms. Shanti allegedly did not cooperate in the search proceedings. ED investigation revealed that she had no source of income. Mr. Shiva, in his statement, admitted that MS. Shanthi gave him the bags out of fear that incriminating details would be discovered.

Based on the investigation, it appears that the seized property and cash belonged to Mr. Saminathan, said the ED.

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