About Rs. 5.11 crore in cash found atop a private bus parked at Ponnagar in the City, in the Tiruchi West constituency, was seized by election officials in the early hours of Tuesday.
This is considered to be the single largest seizure of cash in the State so far in the run up to the Assembly elections.
Acting on a tip-off, a team of officials led by Revenue Divisional Officer and Returning Officer of the constituency, S. Sangeetha, searched the bus found parked at Ponnagar at around 2 a.m.
The cash, in 500 and 1000 rupee denominations, was found in five leather bags on the roof of the bus. According to sources, some persons from a car parked nearby fled when they saw the officials search the bus. A search was also conducted at two houses at Ponnagar and New Selva Nagar.
Both the bus and the car have been impounded. The seized cash was later handed over to the Income Tax Department officials who were conducting further investigations.
District officials said the origin of the cash or who it belonged to has not yet been established. Reliable sources said the bus was owned by a person in Perambalur.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister K.N. Nehru, the DMK candidate contesting from Tiruch West, issued a statement here denying that the seized cash belonged to his relatives, as reported in a section of the media.