IT sleuths raid liquor manufacturers in Odisha, Jharkhand; ₹300 crore seized
According to the officials, Rs.150 crore alone was seized from the raids conducted at the premises of BDPL situated in Boudh, Raidih, Sambalpur, and Balangir districts of Odisha as well as in Ranchi and Lohardaga in Jharkhand
The sleuths of the Income Tax department seized over Rs.300 crore in multiple raids held over the last two days in districts of Odisha and neighbouring Jharkhand on properties linked to various alcohol manufacturing firms, officials aware of the development said.
According to the unknown officials in the department, searches were carried out since Wednesday at over half a dozen firms, including S Shiw Ganga and Company, Boudh Distillery Pvt Ltd (BDPL) and Ranisati Paddy Processing Private Limited over alleged tax evasion. Searches were also conducted at the houses of two liquor barons Deepak Sahu and Sanjay Sahu in Titilagarh. The house of a liquor trader in Sundargarh was also raided.
The IT sleuths also raided the house of Dheeraj Sahu, Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand, who has close links with the company owners.
A 12-member team, including four Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) jawans, was divided into separate groups, who took part in the simultaneous raids, said officials mentioned above.
Following the seizure of money, the sleuths brought the cash bags and sacks loaded in a large truck to the State Bank of India’s Bolangir branch.
According to the officials, Rs.150 crore alone was seized from the raids conducted at the premises of BDPL situated in Boudh, Raidih, Sambalpur, and Balangir districts of Odisha as well as in Ranchi and Lohardaga in Jharkhand.
BDPL is one of the biggest country-liquor manufacturers and selling companies in western Odisha.
The action was taken based on information that the company through its outlets across the state was selling country liquor without maintaining bills/vouchers for which a substantial amount of cash sales was not being accounted for in the regular books of account of the firm, said officials.
The officials said they had suspicions about the company’s inconsistent and low net profits between 2019 and 2021, inflated expenses towards the purchase of mahua/other articles and suspicious other payables shown in the balance sheet.
Meanwhile, as the raids continued, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Sundargarh, Kusum Tete, alleged that Biju Janata Dal leader Jogesh Singh was linked to the companies that were raided.
“When the liquor manufacturing unit was set up in Sundargarh, we were informed that the unit is in the name of former Biju Janata Dal MLA Jogesh Singh’s mother. Singh had connections with that unit and he regularly received money from there,” Tete said.
However, Singh has dismissed all the allegations. “I have only familial relationship with the owners of the distillery. It is unfortunate on the part of the MLA to bring such baseless allegations against me,” Singh said.