The State Bank of India said on Saturday its official cash vans carrying a consignment of Rs.570 crore from Tamil Nadu to Andhra Pradesh were erroneously seized by the Election Commission.
Two days before the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, the poll panel’s flying squad stopped three trucks carrying the money in the morning.
The bank said in a statement that the cash belonged to the SBI and was being transported to Andhra Pradesh to address a temporary cash shortage there.
The Reserve Bank of India, as per its currency management policy, authorised the transfer of Rs.570 crore from its currency chest at SBI Coimbatore Main Branch to SBI Special Currency Administration Branch in Visakhapatnam, the bank said.
The Coimbatore Main Branch released the consignment to the authorised SBI personnel duly escorted by a team of Andhra Pradesh Police, SBI said.
The convoy carrying the cash was stopped in Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu and taken to the collectorate for investigations, it said.
The SBI said its officials in Chennai, Coimbatore and Tirupur are providing all support and clarifications to the authorities and are hopeful of quick resolution of the matter and release of the cash.
Speaking to reporters, Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer Rajesh Lakhoni said initial inquiries reveal that the cash belonged to SBI but the security guards in the vans were carrying only copies of the documents and not originals, raising suspicion.