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Madhu Koda bought 600 vehicles to please supporters

india Updated: Nov 11, 2009 19:11 IST
IANS
Jharkhand

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, who was, on Wednesday, interrogated for his role in a Rs 2,500 crore money laundering scam, distributed hundreds of vehicles to supporters and used the mines department and electricity board to expand his financial empire, officials in Ranchi said.

Koda, an independent Lok Sabha MP, purchased and distributed around 600 bikes, 25 to 30 Scorpios, Boleros and other four wheelers to his supporters during the Lok Sabha elections this year, officials in the income tax department said.

On Tuesday, informed sources said, IT sleuths searched two showrooms of motor bikes and four wheelers. They found that 200 bikes had been sold in one day from one showroom and have now sought help from the transport department to seek registration details.

Koda is also charged with misusing his position as mines and geology minister and later as chief minister. In the name of allocating mines, Koda allegedly sent a recommendation to the central government suggesting a list of names for the lease of 17 iron ore mines, sources said.

The state government recommends to New Delhi the allocation of bauxite and limestone as well as survey work of gold and diamonds.

He also used his influence to push certain private groups for the lease of coal blocks, an official said. The list is long, he added.

Koda is also accused of disposing of 40 files related to mines in just one day in February 2008. The IT department is scrutinising mines deals from 2004 onwards.

Koda's associates, according to sources, had approached a Gulf-based company for limestone business. He also bought a mine in Liberia and is said to have used his associates to purchase land in Thailand.

The charges against him include converting black money into white by acquiring sick companies.

"We are trying to unearth the channels through which money was generated and channelised inside the country and how they were sent to foreign countries. The focus of investigation is Koda and his associates," said an official, adding that they were acquiring new information every day.

Koda and his associates, he added, got the momentum to generate money when he became chief minister in September 2006 and kept key departments like mines and geology as well as electricity board with himself.

In the name of rural electrification, the official added, tenders worth hundreds of crores were allegedly awarded to Koda associates.

On Oct 9, the ED filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Koda, three more former ministers as well as his associates Vinod Sinha and Sanjay Chaudhary. Vikas Sinha, brother of Sinha, was on November sent to ED custody for 10 days.

The scam was unearthed Oct 31 following which Koda was admitted to hospital with complaints of nausea and stomach ache. He was released on Sunday and is being questioned at home.

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