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Search at Koda premises continues

india Updated: Nov 02, 2009 01:17 IST
Madan Kumar

Income-tax and enforcement directorate (ED) officials continued their search operations on the premises of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and his associates on Sunday.

“The ongoing countrywide search in nine cities is likely to continue till tomorrow evening, and operations will start at new locations,” a senior income-tax (I-T) official told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity, on Sunday.

I-T Director (Investigation) Ujjawal Choudhary, who is heading and monitoring the countrywide search, said that the department had so far found evidence of disproportionate assets, hawala (illegal foreign exchange deals) transactions and unaccounted investments worth Rs 2,200 crore.

Koda was chief minister of Jharkhand from 2006 to 2008. Altogether 70 search teams collected evidence after searches took place in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow, Ranchi, Chaibasa (120 km south-west of Ranchi), Jamshedpur (130 km south of Ranchi) and Koda’s ancestral village-Patahatu (160 km south-west of Ranchi) in West Singhbhum district.

Searches were still going on at several places, especially in Mumbai, Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Chaibasa, he said.

Ujjawal Choudhary also stated that the I-T department had asked Binod Sinha (based in Chaibasa) and Sanjay Choudhary (based in Jamshedpur), main business associates of Koda, to present themselves before the authorities within 24 hours to explain their hawala transactions. If they failed to do so, the department would initiate legal action against them, he said.

Earlier in the day, the I-T and the ED authorities ‘briefly’ questioned Koda at his official residence in Ranchi during the search and asked him about the investments made abroad.

The I-T department would soon issue notice to Koda, Sinha, Choudhary and some others for “detailed questioning” after completing the scrutiny of the seized documents and compact discs, an official said here.