Fifty bank officials, 40 counting machines, and five days of tireless counting have culminated in a staggering outcome: Rs 353.5 crore cash seizure from an Odisha-based distillery owned by a Congress MP’s family. This unprecedented haul marks the largest single seizure ever made by any investigative agency in India, shattering all the previous records.
Premises linked to Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand, Dhiraj Prasad Sahu, in Ranchi and other places, were covered during the searches by the income tax department.
In Odisha, counting of the cash is almost complete, income tax officials said. Balangir district witnessed the most significant recovery, with approximately Rs 305 crore unearthed. Sambalpur and Titlagarh followed with Rs 37.5 crore and Rs 11 crore respectively.
The Income Tax department will be depositing all cash seized in recent raids at the main branch of State Bank of India (SBI) in Balangir today. The SBI regional manager has confirmed that the bank will continue to operate normally for the public during this process.
SBI regional manager, Bhagat Behera, offered an update on the ongoing count of cash seized in. He revealed that the teams have processed 140 out of the 176 bags, with the remaining 36 scheduled for counting today.
“We received 176 bags and 140 of them have been counted, the rest will be counted today. Officials from 3 banks are involved in the counting process, and 50 of our officials are involved. About 40 (currency counting) machines were brought here, 25 are in use and 15 are kept as backup,” he said, as quoted by news agency ANI.
Yesterday, the income tax department continued its raid on Boudh Distilleries Private Limited, expanding its scope to include Baldev Sahu Infra Pvt Ltd, a company allegedly linked to Mr Sahu’s family.
The department suspects that the massive cache of cash unearthed during raids on Boudh Distilleries and associated entities represents unaccounted income generated from the sale of country liquor.