Ranchi, Feb 17 (IANS) For the second day in a row, income tax officials Wednesday raided the properties of several 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.
‘Raids are going on at a few places while at some places they have been concluded,’ Anjani Kumar, director general of the income tax department, told IANS on phone from Patna, refusing to divulge details of the raids.
Another senior IT official, however, said: ‘We have seized valuable documents of investments and assets during raids. We will seal a few places where raids were conducted in the interest of the investigation.’
The raids began Tuesday morning at 70 places covering 13 Indian cities, 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 board R.K. Sinha and member of electricity board S.N. Chaudhary.
According to sources in the IT department, documents related to assets and investments worth Rs.100 crore were seized. More than 100 bank lockers and Hawala transactions were traced during search operations.
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.