Odisha I-T Raids: More Counting Machines Sent As Recovery in ‘Highest-Ever Seizure’ Nears Rs 300 Crore – News18

Official sources have said that this is the 'highest-ever' black money haul done by any agency in a single operation.
(Image: PTI)

Official sources have said that this is the ‘highest-ever’ black money haul done by any agency in a single operation.
(Image: PTI)

As of now, a cash amount of over Rs 300 crores has already been allegedly recovered from various premises of the distellery group, which is also linked to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dhiraj Kumar Sahu

Amidst the ongoing raids by the Income Tax department on the properties of the Boudh Distilleries, additional machines, staff and security personnel have been reportedly deployed in order to accelerate counting of the seized currency notes.

According to latest updates, CISF personnel have been deployed outside the premises of Boudh Distilleries Private Limited at Odisha’s Balangir.

As of now, a cash amount of over Rs 300 crores has allegedly been recovered from various premises of the distellery group, which is also linked to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dhiraj Kumar Sahu. Official sources have said that this is the ‘highest-ever’ black money haul done by any agency in a single operation.

The recovery of the ‘unaccounted cash’ at the Congress leader’s property led to a political slugfest in the state with the Bharatiya Janata Party demanding answers from tehe oppposition Congress.

On Saturday, Jharkhand unit of the BJP claimed that “over Rs 300 crore cash” that was allegedly recovered from various premises of Congress leader Sahu during the raids in the state and neighbouring Odisha was meant for “horse trading and resort politics”.

Accusing the Congress and INDIA alliance of corruption, BJP MLA and former Jharkhand minister CP Singh accompanied by Jamshedpur BJP MP Bidyut Baran Mahato said the recovery of money from Congress party leaders was “not a surprise” but seizure of such a huge amount was certainly surprising.

Singh also demanded the Enforcement Directorate to probe into the case.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also commented on the development. Taking to X on Friday, he said, “Countrymen should look at the pile of these notes and then listen to the honest ‘speeches’ of their leaders….Whatever has been looted from the public, every penny will have to be returned, this is Modi’s guarantee.”

The ruling BJD in Odisha in a statement welcomed the tax raids.

The tax department has deployed about 40 large and small machines to count the currency notes and brought in more department and bank staffers to finish the process, which began on December 6 following raids against Boudh Distillery Private Limited and others, the sources said.

Sources said that after conducting raids on manufacturing units and premises of stakeholders associated with Baldeo Sahu and Group of Companies, one of the biggest countrymade liquor manufacturers in western Odisha, the agency is now targeting offices and residences of all the persons linked to this group.

The raids started from Boudh Distillery Private Limited (BDPL), a subsidiary of Baldeo Sahu Infra Private Limited, sources said, adding that the group was allegedly linked to a Congress MP from Jharkhand.

I-T sleuths on Friday seized 156 cash-loaded bags and took them to the SBI main branch at Bolangir for counting. The raids were conducted in Sambalpur, Rourkela, Bolangir, Sundargarh and Bhubaneswar.

Who is Congress MP Dhiraj Sahu?

According to I-T sources, as quoted by Indian Express Baldeo Sahu and Group of Companies Ltd, having operations across Odisha’s western districts, is allegedly linked to Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand Dhiraj Sahu, whose family members run the business. Properties linked to Sahu were also covered as part of the searches.

Sahu has been elected to the Rajya Sabha thrice, and is also a Member, Consultative, Committee for Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. He joined politics in 1977.

(with inputs from agencies)