Chhattisgarh: ED seizes Rs 4cr cash, jewels in raids in money laundering case; lens on IAS officers

  • | Wednesday | 12th October, 2022

Raipur, Oct 12 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate has seized about Rs 4 crore worth of cash and jewellery during searches at several locations linked to government officers and businessmen in Chhattisgarh in connection with a money laundering case, ED sources said on Wednesday. The seizures have been made from both government officers and private entities raided, they said.The official residence of Raigarh district collector Ranu Sahu was sealed by the central agency as she was unavailable during the searches at her premises, the sources said.Sahu did not respond to PTI messages seeking her response over the action.The ED action pertains to a money laundering investigation into alleged illegal levy commissions sourced by certain entities from transporters in Chhattisgarh, the sources said.The federal agency has taken cognisance of an Income Tax (I-T) Department complaint and charge-sheet to file a case under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.According to the sources, separate teams of the ED have been conducting raids in state capital Raipur, Raigarh, Mahasamund, Korba and other districts since Tuesday.Multiple teams of the agency escorted by central paramilitary forces personnel were part of the raids.The searches covered premises of three Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, businessmen, including Suryakant Tiwari, and politicians of the ruling Congress, including former MLA and chairman of state"s seeds development corporation Agni Chandrakar, the sources said.Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel termed the raids as an "act of intimidation" and slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the ED action.The opposition BJP is not able to fight the Congress directly, hence it is misusing the ED, the I-T) department and the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Baghel told reporters in Raipur."I have already said they will come again and it"s not the last time. Their visits will increase as the election approaches (Assembly polls are due in Chhattisgarh in late 2023). This is just an act of intimidation and nothing else," the Congress leader said.Asked about the recovery reportedly made by the central agency during the searches, Baghel said, “Have they (ED) given any press release about recovery? Whether they have seized it from officers or businessmen? They should inform whatever they have seized from every single officer. If they have recovered anything they should make it public." The CM said probe agencies should not be used for political purposes."The agencies have been established to prevent illegal work and malpractices and we welcome if they take action against such activities. But central agencies should not be misused for political gains and defame the state government, officials and politicians,” he added. PTI COR TKP/NES RSY RSY

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