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Black money from Hyderabad’s realty for poll funding

Hyderabad: The spate of cash seizures carried out by the police in coordination with flying squads ahead of the Lok Sabha elections has a real estate twist to it, say police sources.

The black money earned through the booming real estate business in the city and its suburbs was being diverted to fund candidates during the elections. It was found that cash in the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes were transported in cars and trains for distribution among voters, sources said.

According to a senior police official, there is more scope for black money in real estate as most realtors would insist on buyers to pay a major portion of the amount in black with the remaining in white. The black money that was earned through the sale of plots and flats was being used during elections.

 

For politicians in Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad has become a major source of money for funding during elections. It is a known fact that a majority of politicians from AP established real estate companies and did brisk business by selling swanky flats and duplex houses on the IT corridor in Madhapur and Gachibowli, apart from the busy areas of Kukatpally, Miyapur, Nizampet, Dilsukhagar and Kothapet, among others.

The same politicians were striving hard to transport money for election funding in AP, an official said. But, Income Tax (I-T) Department officials said no one was willing to claim the seized money fearing payment of high fines under the amended I-T Act. Under Section 271 AAC of I-T Act, a person possessing unaccounted money will have to pay a tax of 103 per cent, which would be three per cent more than the seized amount.

The classic case in point is the recent seizure of Rs 2 crore at Hitec City railway station in Madhapur on Wednesday night following the arrest of N Sri Hari and A Pandari, both office assistants in Jayabheri Properties. The cash stacked in two bags was supposed to be delivered to Rajahmundry MP M Murali Mohan, who was to distribute it to voters. In another case, three persons reportedly associated with real estate business were also caught by the
Osmania University police at Tarnaka for transporting Rs 49 lakh.

Special teams to control the flow of cash

The Telangana police have constituted special teams to control the flow of unaccounted cash through air, rail and road in view of the elections on April 11.

Flying squads, static surveillance teams and Income Tax (I-T) Department surveillance teams have already launched a crackdown on those transporting cash illegally. The main focus was laid on the borders between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to prevent flow of cash from Hyderabad to AP, where elections for State Assembly and Lok Sabha would be conducted simultaneously.

The I-T Department has deployed a separate team at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad to keep a tab on the flow of money. As on April 6, the Police and I-T Department seized Rs 41 crore (Rs 41,04,71,113 ) during separate searches conducted across the State.