Officials are trying to finish by Sunday the counting of cash recovered from premises linked to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dheeraj Sahu during raids conducted by the Income Tax Department. Additional cash-counting machines and manpower were deployed on Sunday to expedite the counting of the seized notes.
Bhagat Behera, a Regional Manager of State Bank of India, told media that they received as many as 176 bags of cash and 140 of them have been counted. Fifty officials from three banks are involved in the counting process and 40 machines have been deployed.
Behera said the officials are trying to finish the counting by the end of Sunday as normal banking hours will begin from Monday and the machines will also have to be returned to the banks.
According to tax officials, the cash seized during the department’s raids on properties of Rajya Sabha MP Dheeraj Sahu is likely to reach Rs 300 crore, making it the "highest-ever" haul by an agency in a single operation.
Due to a significant quantity of cash still being left for counting, the authorities decided to rope in additional cash-counting machines and manpower to speed up the process.
According to Bhagat Behera, engineers are also at the site to attend to any technical issues that the counting machines might face.
Several visuals that came out on Sunday showed officials counting bundles of cash that was recovered from the properties of Congress MP Dheeraj Sahu. Most of the cash was recovered from premises linked to Boudh Distillery Private Limited in Odisha.
Dheeraj Sahu's extended family is reportedly involved in a major alcohol manufacturing business and he owns several such factories in Odisha.
Meanwhile, the Congress has distanced itself from its Dheeraj Sahu after the recovery of the huge amount of cash.
"The Indian National Congress is in no way connected with the businesses of Dheeraj Sahu, MP. Only he can explain, and should explain, how huge amounts of cash have been reportedly unearthed by the income-tax authorities from his properties," AICC general secretary Communications Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.
Meanwhile, the Income Tax Department investigators recorded the statements of various company officials and others in connection with the case.
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