Koda not cooperating in probe, says I-T department | india | Hindustan Times
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Koda not cooperating in probe, says I-T department

india Updated: Nov 03, 2009 10:13 IST

IANS
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Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda was not cooperating fully with the Income Tax department in the investigation against him for amassing wealth illegally, a senior official said on Monday.

Koda was interrogated on camera on Monday so that his statements are recorded on video for proof while the I-T Department and Enforcement Directorate officials continued searches in cities across the country for the third day on Monday.

"Koda is not fully cooperating in the investigation," I-T department's Director General for Investigations Anjani Kumar told reporters in Ranchi, adding search operations are still going on at some places.

I-T sources said Koda had provided information about investments made at different places, the network used to invest money and people involved in the illegal transactions.

An official press release on Monday said the I-T department is continuing its search and seizure operations under provisions of the Income Tax Act and has summoned six people for questioning.

The six who have been asked to appear before the department Nov 6 are Vinod Kumar Sinha, Sanjay Chaudhary, Devendra Mukhiya, Basant Bhattacharya, Manoj Punamiya and Anil Bastawde. Sinha and Chaudhary are close associates of Koda.

"If they fail to appear on the said date, the department will be constrained to take strict legal actions as permissible under various laws," the statement added.

Both Sinha and Chaudhary have not yet appeared before I-T officials. On Saturday, I-T officials said legal action would be initiated if they did not report by Sunday evening. Airport authorities have now been alerted so that they do not flee the country, officials said on Monday.

The I-T department, which is probing a disproportionate assets allegation against Koda and his associates, Saturday conducted raids at 70 places in eight cities and discovered documents relating to illegal transactions worth Rs 2,000 crore.

The searches continued Sunday and Monday to gather evidence of corruption against Koda and his associates with searches being conducted at seven new places Monday, officials said.

According to sources, documents related to investments of Koda, Sinha and Chaudhary have been seized. The sources said day and night searches may continue for the next two to three days.

"This is one of the largest raids against people who have developed network not only in different Indian states but also in many foreign countries," an I-T source told IANS.

The IT officials have seized a laptop, hard disk and documents from Koda's houses and are investigating his links with a resort in the Andamans.

Over 70 bank accounts and lockers have been frozen so far and the process has been initiated to freeze the bank accounts of Sinha and Chaudhary. The sources also revealed that jewellery worth over Rs. 2 crore, cash amounting to Rs 2.7 crore and investments related documents have been found from various places during the searches.

The I-T and Enforcement Directorate sleuths are focusing on the raids in Mumbai.

"In Mumbai, the documents seized showed the illegal transaction in three companies raided and money sent to foreign countries through Hawala is more than Rs.2,500 crore," said an informed source in the I-T department.

According to I-T officials, Vinod Sinha apparently owns three firms in Mumbai and their transactions in the last one-and-a-half years are - Balaji Bullion Corporation (Rs 360 crore), Balaji Bullion Bazar (Rs 990 crore) and Balaji Bullion Commodities (Rs 100 crore).

I-T officials have also seized documents worth Rs.550 crore sent through hawala to Dubai, Thailand, Malyasia and African countries and Interpol help might be sought to probe the case, the source said.

Raids are continuing at more than 100 people's houses and companies in Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Chaibasa, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Ghaziabad among other places. The houses of Sinha and Chaudhary's chartered accountants in Ranchi and Jamshedpur have also been searched, officials said.