More Cash In 20 Bags Found During I-T Raids On Odisha-Based Distillery Group; Counting On

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Officials of the Income Tax (I-T) department stepped up the crackdown on liquor places linked to an Odisha-based distillery group on charges of tax evasion as their raids entered the fourth day on Saturday.

Having already recovered around Rs 200 crore during recent raids, the I-T department officials found 20 more bags full of cash from the house of Balangir Sudapada country-liquor manufacturer’s manager.

As per preliminary reports, the cash found from the house is believed to be around Rs 100 crore, the I-T department officials are yet to confirm the exact amount of money recovered from the manager’s residence.

Sources said the income tax team loaded the bags and boxes full of cash in a van and shifted the money to the currency chest of the State Bank of India (SBI) in Balangir. The cash recovered from the house would be counted shortly.

After the massive haul of cash, counting the recovered money has turned out to be an uphill task for the income tax and bank officials. Many bank employees have been deployed in two shifts to help the I-T department officials count the cash. Around 10 cash counting machines have been sought from nearby banks.

According to bank officials, around 50 employees are engaged in counting the cash with the help of 25 counting machines and efforts are on to complete the whole process in the next two days.  There are a total of 176 bags of cash and so far money only in 40 bags has been counted.

It may be noted here that the liquor manufacturer being raided is a stakeholder of Baldeo Sahu & Group of Companies, one of the biggest country liquor manufacturers and selling companies in western Odisha. The I-T sleuths raided the offices and residences of all those linked to the group.

The I-T sleuths also raided Boudh Distillery Private Limited (BDPL).

It is worth mentioning here that Baldeo Sahu & Group of Companies is in partnership with Boudh Distilleries Pvt Ltd. The former has other businesses, including Baldeo Sahu Infra Pvt Ltd (which makes fly ash bricks), Kwality Bottlers Pvt Ltd (an IMFL bottling unit), and Kishore Prasad Bijay Prasad Beverages Pvt Ltd engaged in the sale and marketing of different IMFL brands.

Meanwhile, a 20-member Income Tax analysis team from Hyderabad reached Bolangir on Saturday to assist in the investigation into the massive cash haul. The team is likely to examine electronic gadgets including computers of the liquor traders’ firm and others, sources said.


OB Bureau

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