Koda scam: Raids continue, over Rs.1 crore cash seized

Ranchi, Feb 18 (IANS) Income Tax raids continued for the third day Thursday on properties of some senior officials, including Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren’s personal secretary, in connection with the Rs.2,500-crore money laundering scam involving former chief minister Madhu Koda, officials said.

‘Raids are going on at a few places and at majority of the places it has been concluded. We are likely to conclude the raids by Thursday late night,’ a top Income Tax official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

He added: ‘In the raids at different places, cash more than Rs.1 crore has been seized. Besides cash, we have seized fixed deposits (receipts) worth more than Rs.2 crore from the houses of government officials.’

According to sources in the IT department, the documents seized relate to flats, land and other investments.

IT sources also said that the story of Soren’s personal secretary is interesting. In a short span of time, he has became a billionaire.

The raids began Tuesday morning at 70 places in 13 cities across India, including Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Chaibasa, Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Those whose properties were raided include Soren’s personal secretary M.L. Pal, two former chiefs of Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) V.N. Pandey and H.B. Lal, retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and former mines secretary Jaishankar Tiwari, Jharkhand Mines and Geology director B.B. Singh, chief engineer of JSEB P.K. Singh, member of state pollution control board R.K. Sinha and member of JSEB S.N. Chaudhary.

While Koda is in jail on charges of having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, two of his associates Vinod Sinha and Sanjay Chaudhary are absconding.

On Oct 9 last year, Koda was booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) along with three former ministers besides Sinha and Chaudhary.

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