Tracking the probe on Sekhar Reddy's illegal money trail — Gold, cash and murky deals

Searches in TN, Karnataka yield 78 kg gold, Rs. 29 cr. in new notes

Income Tax officials searching the house of Sekhar Reddy at Gandhinagar in Vellore.   | Photo Credit: C. VENKATACHALAPATHY

Searches by Income Tax officials, which continued across the country on Saturday, yielded fresh seizures of Rs. 24 crore in new Rs.2, 000 currency notes and 50 kgs of gold worth Rs.15 crore from J. Sekhar Reddy and K. Sreenivasulu in Tamil Nadu. Rs. 5.7 crore in Rs. 2,000 notes, Rs. 90 lakh in old currency, 28 kg of bullion and 4 kg of gold jewellery were seized in raids in 15 locations in Karnataka.

Following the raids and sharp criticism from the Opposition, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday instructed the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Trust Board to dismiss J. Sekhar Reddy from the Trust.

In Chennai and Vellore, I-T officials continued searching the premises of J. Sekhar Reddy and K. Sreenivasulu for the third day. A senior official told The Hindu, “We have found Rs. 24 crore (all new Rs.2000 notes) and 50 kg of gold. We will now be freezing what we have found so far,” he said. “The search has pointed to more people and we will be searching them soon,” he added.

Until Saturday, officials had seized Rs. 96.89 crore of demonetised notes, Rs. 33.63 crore of Rs.2,000 notes and gold weighing 177 kgs worth approximately Rs.51.29 crore from the premises of Mr Reddy and his associates. This takes the total tally to Rs. 181.81 crore.

In searches in Karnataka, officials who searched three houses of one Veerendra, a financier at Chellakere in Chitradurga, found a secret chamber in a bathroom with a cache of new currency notes.

Officials recovered Rs. 5.7 crore in Rs. 2,000 notes during searches in Hubballi and Chitradurga.

The officials also recovered Rs. 90 lakh in old currency, 28 kg of bullion and 4 kg of gold jewellery.

The Income Tax Department has targeted a clique of hawala and casino operators, and bullion traders who are also said to be deeply entrenched in cricket betting.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 10:05:49 AM |

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