Updated: December 16, 2021 4:13:19 am
Tamil Nadu officials on Wednesday searched multiple premises linked to a former state minister and said they discovered several crores of unaccounted wealth, besides large sums in the form of cryptocurrency.
The search operations by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption targeted at least 14 premises associated with former electricity minister and AIADMK leader P Thangamani in Vellore, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Tirupur and Coimbatore besides one place in Karnataka and two in Andhra Pradesh.
An official statement said the search teams seized unaccounted assets,including Rs 2.16 crore in cash, over one kilogram of gold, more than 40 kg of silver assets and several cell phones. The teams also accessed details of bank lockers and hard disks.
DVAC raids former TN minister P Thangamani & his family. As per FIR, he acquired assets worth Rs. 4.85 cr in excess out of his known sources of income. “There is reliable information that they have invested huge amount from the ill-gotten money in crypto assets.” @IndianExpress
— Janardhan Koushik (@koushiktweets) December 15, 2021
A senior officer with knowledge of the operations held at Thangamani’s Salem residence said officers found investments in cryptocurrency besides seizing unaccounted assets. “There were Rs 40 to 50 crore worth of investments made in cryptocurrency. This investment process started much before the pandemic started and it has gained a huge profit. We are launching a detailed probe on using disproportionate assets to invest in crypto coins,” this officer said.
The officer said Thangamani’s son T Dharanidharan and son-in-law S Dinesh Kumar had been dealing with the crypto investments. A preliminary investigation found investments in five crypto coins, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
An FIR filed against Thangamani and family said his son Dharanidharan had shown business activity in the name of Murugan Earth Movers; the investigations revealed that those businesses were only on paper to cover illegal income.
AIADMK leader K Palaniswami alleged that the vigilance action was due to “political vendetta” and the AIADMK’s “growing clout”.
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