Gujarat tops E.C.’s seizures list; Tamil Nadu a close second

Published : April 16, 2019 15:10 IST

Gujarat tops the list, in terms of value, of seizures of drugs, cash and other valuables made by the Election Commission. Tamil Nadu is a close second.

According to details as of April 15 provided at the ECI website, a massive seizure  of drugs/narcotics totalling 123.86 kg, valued at Rs.500.11 crore in Gujarat, “lifted” the value of total seizures in the State to Rs.518.6 crore. Gujarat, a dry State, witnessed the police confiscating 3.51 lakh litres of alcohol, valued at Rs.10.01 crore. Bihar, also a dry State, recorded liquor seizures to the tune of 0.56 lakh litres. The value of this contraband was not given in the ECI website.  

In Tamil Nadu, cash seizures have made headlines across the nation, and Rs.202.12 crore has been seized so far. The total value of seizures in Tamil Nadu—of cash, liquor, drugs/narcotics, precious metals and so on—so far is Rs.499.47 crore. Gujarat and Tamil Nadu together amount for about 40 per cent of all seizures in the country in all categories (Rs.1,018.07 crore of the total Rs.2,550.75 crore since the model code of conduct was put in place.)

Intriguingly, drugs and not cash top the list of seizures in the country. Of the total seizures, drugs amounted to a little over 43 per cent of all seizures (Rs.1,110.08 crore) while cash, the second largest category in seizures, amounted to a little over 26 per cent (Rs.675 crore). The National Capital Territory of Delhi registered the second largest drug haul, valued at Rs.348.48 crore. In Punjab, which has a massive recorded drug menace, the value of the seizures (6,757 kg) was Rs.154.95 crore, putting it in third place.

The interesting aspect in cash seizures is that just two states made up just over 50 per cent of the seizures – Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh (Rs.137.07 crores). Maharashtra was placed third in the cash seized category with Rs.40.81 crore seized. The story of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is that cash has been seized in all States, barring the Union territory of Lakshadweep and Mizoram.

Tamil Nadu has topped the country in the precious metals category with 1,640 tonnes being seized until April 15, valued at Rs.285.89 crore. This is the reason why Tamil Nadu’s total has been lifted to second place. It is not clear how many of the owners of the seized property have approached the authorities with documents to claim their cash or jewellery back.  The only discrepancy in the ECI website is that it does not give details of cash/precious metals returned  to the owners in case they are able to provide documents to back their claim of legitimate cash movement.

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