Cash, drugs, gold worth Rs 35 cr seized in poll-bound Pondy

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Puducherry, Mar 25 (PTI) Law enforcement agencies have seized cash, drugs, gold, and other commodities valued at Rs 35 crore, meant to be distributed as freebies in Puducherry since the model code of conduct was enforced in February.

More than 30,000 litres of liquor, arrack and toddy worth Rs 55 lakhs was confiscated since the announcement of poll date.

Puducherry goes to assembly election on April 6.

Chief Electoral Officer Shurbir Singh said in a release on Thursday that there has been 'active surveillanceand strict enforcement of model code of conduct and also Excise Rules here.' As many as 93 teams of flying squads have been pressed into service and 30 rolling static surveillance teams are on duty round the clock covering all the 30 Assembly segments in the Union Territory.

The CEO said in addition to these teams police and Excise wings are also on duty to maintain law and order and to prevent transport of cash, goods and illicit liquor.

The teams had effected 165 seizures so far and confiscated cash, narcotics, gold and jewelry, liquor and other commodities meant to be distributed as freebies.

The value of these seized items was put at Rs 35 crores.

The CEO said that the squads had seized Rs 3.8 crores in the form of cash at different points so far.

He said that the police have arrested so far 140 offenders in connection with transport of cash, arrack, narcotics and other commodities.

FIRs have been registered in 44 cases and fine to the tune of Rs 8 lakhs has also been imposed.

Seven licenses of liquor sales were also suspended for violating the Excise Act and the rules.

Shurbir Singh said gold and gold jewellery worth Rs 27.4 crores which were found to be transported without valid documents formed a major chunk of the total seizures. PTI COR ROH ROH