Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Odisha cash haul: I-T dept deploys ground scanning radar in Ranchi


Ranchi: The Income-tax department has deployed a ground scanning radar machine at Congress MP Dhiraj Sahu’s house in Ranchi as part of its ongoing searches against an Odisha-based distillery firm owned by the leader’s family and linked entities in which it has made a record cash haul of Rs 351 crore, official sources said Wednesday.

The device with a laptop screen on top was wheeled in at a location in the Jharkhand capital late Tuesday night as the tax department suspected presence of some items beneath the ground surface.

The premise is the joint family house of Sahu and is being guarded by a contingent of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

The radar device was deployed to check beneath the surface, the sources told PTI Nothing was found during the machine search, the sources said.

The tax department has made the “highest-ever” cash seizure of Rs 351 crore during raids against the Bhubaneswar-headquartered Boudh Distillery Pvt. Ltd. (BDPL). The searches were launched by the taxman on December 6 on charges of alleged tax evasion and “out of book” transactions.

The company is promoted by the family of Sahu and neither him nor the company has given any official statement or response on the I-T action till now.

As many as 30-34 premises in Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal were searched by the department and about three kg of gold jewellery was also seized during this operation.

BJP MPs led by party chief J P Nadda on Monday held a protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament Complex, alleging the cash seized during the raids proved that the Congress was “neck-deep” in corruption.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg… Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will have to answer whose money it is and how it was looted,” Nadda had said.

BJP members in Lok Sabha also raised the issue in the House on Monday.

The Congress has distanced itself from the MP, claiming the party has nothing to do with his business.

“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 last week.


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