The Tamil Nadu Income-Tax sleuths seized Rs 100 crore cash in which around Rs.10 crore was new Rs.2000 notes. This is probably the biggest cash seizure.
Officials also seized 120 kg gold from residences and offices owned by TTD Board member J. Sekhar Reddy. Mr. Reddy is also a public works department contractor in Chennai and Vellore.
I-T sources said "Mr. Reddy is the suspected benami of a top IAS official at Fort St George in Tamil Nadu and he is known as Isuka (sand) Sekhar in the sand mining circles. I-T sleuths raided eight premises in Chennai and Vellore since Thursday morning and unearthed Rs 100 crore in cash."
“As of now, we have unearthed Rs 100 crore cash and 120 kg gold. Searches are still on,” I-T officials said.
"Sekhar and friends were tracked via phones. The premises belong to industrialist Sekhar Reddy, his associate Srinivasa Reddy and their agents including one Prem,” said an IT official.
Sources said "the raids were the fallout of monitoring of phones and following the trail of Prem, who was trying to change some gold bars. The trail led to the Reddys, who are believed to have close links to the sand mafia through sand quarrying contract jobs. Apart from premises belonging to Srinvasa Reddy in Vijayaraghava Road in T. Nagar and Sekhar Reddy in Yogabal Street in T. Nagar, the officials raided a room in a star hotel in Teynampet."
The I-T officials got shocked when they found Rs 10 crore in new notes.
“Of course, it cannot be done without the help of bankers. The role of bankers in the case is also being probed,” a senior income tax official noted.
J. Sekhar Reddy, (47) hails from Thondan Thualsi village near Katpadi in Vellore district. He was a small-time contractor who used to lay cement on village roads. Somehow he managed to get some railway contracts through the railway union. He then started meeting MLAs in order to get tenders for work from their constituency development fund.
Years ago, he uses to stay with one of the AIADMk ministers as they were roommates. He also got access to TTD Board through his friends in the railway union.
BY M. DIVYA SRI