Tax raids continued at the premises of Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Dheeraj Sahu in Odisha and Jharkhand on Saturday, even as more than Rs 200 crore of unaccounted cash has been recovered so far. The raids began on Wednesday (December 6).
In the latest development, the Income Tax teams seized three more bags from Dheeraj Sahu's premises in Ranchi, while nearly 19 bags of money were seized from the house of one Bunty Sahu, deputed as in charge of the maintenance of liquor factories in the areas where raids were underway in Odisha.
The amount recovered from Bunty Sahu's house was expected to cross Rs 20 crore, sources said, as the seized money was being transported to banks in Sudpara, Odisha's Balangir.
Sources said more than 100 officers of the Income Tax Department were deployed in different places in the Bolangir district.
"Now we are working together to count all the money within two days. Fifty employees are involved in counting and more were invited to join us soon," Bhagat Beherea, Regional Manager, State Bank of India, Bolangir, said.
"We have received 176 packets of money bags and we finished only 40 packets of counting. Now the rest of the packets are being counted. We have counted 40 crores of money so far. Some money was also counted over at Titlagarh. The adequate security system has been arranged in bank areas," Beherea added.
Meanwhile, according to news agency PTI, unaccounted cash amounting to around Rs 225 crore has been recovered so far through searches being conducted by the Income Tax department against Odisha-based Boudh Distillery Private Limited and entities linked to it.
Three dozen counting machines have been deployed by the Income Tax department. Since the machines are of a limited capacity, the counting is progressing at a slow pace, sources told PTI.
Officials said cash amounting to Rs 200 crore, stashed in almirahs, was recovered from the premises of the distillery group in Bolangir district in Odisha, while the remaining amount was found in other locations such as Sambalpur and Sundargarh in Odisha, Bokaro and Ranchi in Jharkhand, and Kolkata.
The Income Tax team also searched the corporate office of Boudh Distillery Pvt Ltd at Palasapalli in Bhubaneswar, the houses of some company officials, the company's factory and office in Boudh and the Ranisati Rice Mill.
A report from the Boudh district stated a large number of torn currency notes of Rs 500 denomination were found dumped near the Boudh Distillery Private Limited (BDPL) at Titirikata under Harabhanga block. Local people were surprised when they spotted huge quantities of torn currency near the boundary wall of the company.
Former IT commissioner Sarat Chandra Dash told PTI that this could be the largest cash seizure by the Income Tax department in Odisha so far.
"I have never come across the recovery of such a huge amount of cash in the state," Dash said.
In a post on X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the opposition party over the cash seizures.
"Countrymen should look at these piles of currency notes and then hear the addresses of its (Congress) leaders on honesty. Every penny looted from people will have to be returned. This is Modi's guarantee," he said in a post.
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