Gutkha scam: CBI raids residences of TN Minister, DGP

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Chennai, Sep 5 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday raided several places in Tamil Nadu, including the residences of Health and Family Welfare Minister C. Vijayabaskar and Director General of Police (DGP) T.K. Rajendran in connection with a gutkha scam, said a CBI official.

In April, the Madras High Court ordered CBI to probe the multi-crore gutkha scam in which Minister Vijayabaskar, DGP Rajendran and several other top police and other state government officials were alleged to be involved.

The court ordered the CBI probe on a petition filed by DMK legislator J. Anbazhagan.

The case is related to an Income Tax Department raid in the offices, residences and godowns of a gutkha manufacturer in Tamil Nadu in 2016.

A diary was then seized which listed alleged bribe payments made to various officials amounting to about Rs 39.31 crore.

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The Tamil Nadu government has banned the manufacture and storage of gutkha — a tobacco product. However, the product was reportedly available in the market with the alleged connivance of police officers and others.

Several political parties had demanded the CBI probe into the scam but the AIADMK government did not agree.

In June, the Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against unnamed government officials in Tamil Nadu’s gutkha scam based on the first information report (FIR) registered by the CBI in May.

Despite the opposition from the opposition parties Rajendran was given a two year extension in 2018.

–IANS

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