Officials of the Directorate of Vigilance & Anti-Corruption have seized 519 sovereigns of gold, ₹4.29 crore in cash and other valuables in the past month from the office and residential premises of government employees.
In the 54 searches conducted since October 1, special teams organised surprise checks in various departments, mostly Transport and Registration, resulting in the seizures ahead of Deepavali.
In Vellore district, the anti-corruption police conducted a joint surprise check, along with officials of the District Inspection Cell, at three Tasmac shops and seized ₹60,990 in unaccounted cash.
Preliminary enquiry revealed that the salesmen had sold liquor over and above the maximum retail price.
The State-owned liquor shops do not display the brand and price list, which they are supposed to do, depriving consumers of the rates, investigators said.
Vigilance officials investigating allegations against the Zonal Officer, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Vellore, seized ₹3.25 crore in cash, 450 sovereigns of gold jewellery and 6.5 kg of silver articles from his residence.
From the office and residence of the Deputy Inspector-General of Registrations, Salem, DVAC officials seized ₹3.2 lakh cash, 34 sovereigns gold worth ₹13 lakh, a property document worth ₹63.7 lakh and bank savings to the tune of ₹1 crore.
Investigation is on to ascertain the source of income for these seizures.
The officer topped the list of surprise checks, resulting in seizure of unaccounted money, followed by Transport, Electricity, Rural Development and other establishments.
“We are acting on every information, be it a specific written complaint or source information, when it comes to allegations of corruption in government offices. Where there is no valid justification to account for the excess money/valuables seized, a disproportionate assets case will be registered,” DVAC Director Jayanth Murali told The Hindu on Saturday.
The agency, in an official release, said 16 government officials had been arrested on specific complaints of corruption between October 1 and November 6.
They were accused of demanding and accepting bribes and booked under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.