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Cash Haul In Odisha I-T Raids Goes Past Rs 300 Crore

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NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR, Dec 10: The cash seizure in the income-tax department’s searches against an Odisha-based distillery company has become the “highest-ever” such haul in a single action conducted by any probe agency in the country and gone past Rs 300 crore, official sources said on Sunday.

The marathon raids against Boudh Distillery Private Limited, its promoters and others entered the fifth day on Sunday. The raids were launched on December 6 by the taxman on charges of tax evasion and “off-the-book” transactions.

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The sources told PTI that cash to the tune of more than Rs 300 crore has been counted till now and the counting is still on.

The department believes that the entire cache of currency is “unaccounted” money earned from cash sales of country liquor by the business group, distributors and others.

This is the highest-ever cash seizure made by an agency in the country as part of an action against a single group and entities linked to it, the sources had said.

Some of the high-value seizures in the past include one from 2019 when the GST Intelligence raided a Kanpur-based businessman and seized cash amounting to Rs 257 crore and another instance where cash amounting to Rs 163 crore was unearthed by the I-T department during searches against a road construction firm in Tamil Nadu in July 2018.

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The department is also recording the statements of the executives and other staff who were present at the searched locations and will soon issue summonses to the main promoters of the company for recording their statements.

The premises of Congress’s Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand, Dhiraj Prasad Sahu, in Ranchi and other places were also covered during the searches by the department. It was not clear what amount of cash and other documents were seized from Sahu’s house.

The company and the MP did not respond to PTI’s queries regarding the action being carried out against them.

Union tourism minister G Kishan Reddy sought to know on Sunday why Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is silent on the seizure of crores of rupees from premises allegedly linked to his party MP during these I-T department searches.

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Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah accused the Centre of targeting only the Congress and not the BJP, in the wake of this huge cash seizure. (PTI)

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