Tax Raid In Odisha Enters Day 5; Counting Of Cash Bags Continues In Balangir, Rs 37.50 Cr Seized In Sambalpur

Bhubaneswar: The raids by Income Tax department and counting of the notes, in what is likely India’s highest-ever haul by an agency in a single operation, continued simultaneously at various places in Odisha for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday.

According to sources, more counting machines and manpower have been engaged at State Bank of India (SBI) Main Branch in Balangir, where a team of officials continued with the counting of the cash found in the remaining 71 of the total 176 bags seized during raids on premises of linked to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dheeraj Sahu and and his managers, Rajesh Sahu and Bunty Sahu.

Around Rs 140 crore was found in 102 bags counting for which was completed by Saturday night. “We had deployed nine counting machines. Now, an additional 16 have been arranged to expedite the process. Around 40-50 staffers have been engaged,” said SBI regional manager, Balangir, Bhagat Behera said.

Cash in 20 more bags will be counted by tonight and the rest by Monday, he added.

While around 30 places linked to Baldeo Sahu and Group of Companies Ltd have been searched since December 6, the highest amount of cash in 156 bags was seized from one of its manufacturing units at Sudapada in Balangir. Twenty more more bags filled with cash were seized from the house of Balangir Sudapada country-liquor manufacturer’s manager on Friday night.

The raids have been carried out in properties linked to the influential family at Ranchi, Sambalpur, Balangir, Titilagarh, Boudh, and Sudargarh in Jharkhand, and Rourkela and Bhubaneswar in Odisha. Besides the bags full of cash, nine almirahs filled with notes of Rs 100, Rs 200 and Rs 500 and three bags of jewelleries have also been seized.

The counting of notes at Titlagarh and Sambalpur, which ended last night, has put the seizure amount at Rs 11 crore and Rs 37.50 crore respectively.

On the other hand, interrogation of the two managers is underway to extract more information on the unaccounted cash, which is likely to amount to Rs 300 crore figure, according to official sources.

On Saturday, the IT sleuths also seized Rs 7 crore from Sahu’s Lohardaga residence. Income Tax Director General Sanjay Bahadur told the media that going by the volume of cash, it will take two more days to count them. The department will share information officially only after that, he added.

Also Read: Huge Cash Haul During I-T Raids In Odisha: BJP Targets BJD & Congress Over Corruption

It may be noted here that Baldeo Sahu & Group of Companies which is a group company of Boudh Distilleries Private Limited, which is covered in the search is linked to the Congress Rajya Sabha MP. His son Ritesh Sahu is the managing director, while elder brother Uday Shanker Prasad is the chairman of the company that manufactures extra neutral alcohol — a primary raw material for making alcoholic beverages. 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.


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