Fact Check: 2019 seizure of 1,400 kg of gold by EC being used to target TTD

A post claiming that the Chennai police had seized 1,400 kg of gold belonging to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) while it was being smuggled in three vehicles, is being circulated on WhatsApp.

By Misha Rajani  Published on  8 May 2022 5:19 AM GMT
Fact Check: 2019 seizure of 1,400 kg of gold by EC being used to target TTD

Hyderabad: A post claiming that the Chennai police had seized 1,400 kg of gold belonging to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) while it was being smuggled in three vehicles, is being circulated on WhatsApp.

The forward reads, "About 1,400 kg of gold in the form of ingots in three vehicles belonging to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams was seized by Chennai police."


Fact Check:

An internet search for the details of the incident in the forward revealed that in 2019, a static surveillance team of the Election Commission (EC) intercepted three vans carrying close to 1,400 kg of gold near Veppampattu in Tiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu. The team found 56 boxes containing nearly 22 kg of gold in each and seized it after the Punjab National Bank (PNB) officials failed to authenticate that the gold belonged to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).

The TTD deposits their gold in SBI and other private banks under the gold deposit schemes. The PNB officials clarified that as the period of deposit had expired, they were returning the gold to the TTD. The scheme involved returning the deposited gold along with interest, which is also paid in gold. On the maturity of one of the schemes, nearly 1,400 kg of gold in the form of bars were being transported from Chennai by PNB officials to be handed over to the TTD. But due to negligence in travelling without proper documents, the gold was seized.

Officials from PNB rushed to the EC with relevant papers and the Executive Officer of TTD Anil Kumar Singhal also wrote a letter to the EC saying that the gold belongs to TTD. After proper verification of facts and documents, the bank officials handed over the gold to the TTD authorities.

At the time, Anil Kumar had said during a press conference that it was PNB's responsibility to get the gold seized by the EC to the TTD treasury.

The Andhra Pradesh Fact-Check team also published an article saying that the incident in 2019 was being shared on social media in a way that it denigrated TTD.

Hence, it can be said that an old incident involving EC officials seizing gold is being shared as a recent incident with a misleading context.

(Sources: Deccan Chronicle, Hans India, The Hindu)

Claim Review:Chennai police recently seized 1,400 kg of gold belonging to the TTD
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
Next Story
Share it