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EC warns of possible cash trafficking via sea

The Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence, a national grid comprising revenue and security intelligence agencies constituted by the Election Commission (EC) to curb use of black money in the Lok Sabha polls, has warned of possible cash, gold and liquor trafficking via sea route.

A high-level meeting comprising top officials was held early this week to review the security measures, intelligence sources said here. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard had intensified vigil along the eastern seaboard in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau had also written to the security agencies seeking information on the movement of cash during the election.
The possibility of money or gold being smuggled into the country from a neighbouring nation is likely in view of the heightened security arrangements on land borders and airports. The sources also did not rule out the movement of fake Indian currency.
“We have enhanced patrolling, surveillance and random checking of boats found to be drifting or moving in a suspicious manner. Instructions have been given to Radar Stations to keep tabs on any possible intrusion along the coastline,” Inspector-General and Commander of Coast Guard (Regional East) Satya Prakash Sharma told The Hindu .
The Naval Officer In-Charge, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Commodore Amar K. Mahadevan, met fishermen at fishing hamlets in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu a couple of days ago and laid emphasis on gathering and sharing of information. “Besides coordinating with Central/State intelligence agencies, we are in touch with the Marine Police and local fisheries department officials. Patrolling has been enhanced and we are looking for something different…,” he said.
On their part, the Tamil Nadu police and election officials had also intensified vehicle checks on all roads leading to the coast or State borders. The Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force personnel were keeping tabs on activities of suspicious persons and checking at random baggage of passengers on trains and railway premises, police sources added.
Election and police officials had seized a large amount of cash during vehicle checks across Tamil Nadu in the recent days.

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