I-T raids in Chhattisgarh surprise officials

The Income Tax officials allegedly have recovered cash and jewellery worth several hundred crore rupees from the premises of Chhattisgarh-based government officials and businessmen. The raids have come as a surprise to the state officials, who remained tightlipped about the agency action.

Sources have said that the I-T department raided government official Saumya Chaurasiya, businessman Suryakant Tiwari, his aide Ajay Naidu and coal transporter Hemant Tiwari.

However, there is no official word on the recovery and disclosure by the Tax Authorities.

“We don’t disclose our operations. It can hamper the investigation,” the I-T official said.

It is being alleged that the I-T has been conducting raids in 26 districts for the past three days. However when contacted, the I-T officials refused to come on record.

Sources only suggested that the whole matter was related to tax evasion.

The I-T department didn’t let the local authorities and other departments know about the raid as they feared that it might hamper their investigation, sources said.

On Thursday, around 150 I-T officials along with 150 CRPF personnel, divided into dozen teams, started the raids in Raipur, Durg, Bhilai, Mahasamund, Korba, Raigarh, and Bilaspur area, sources said.

Apart from cash and jewellery, the I-T department has also seized a bunch of documents, including ledger accounts. They also sealed several bank lockers belonging to the businessmen, sources said.

It is alleged that the I-T officials have detected suspicious transactions of several hundred crore rupees, and suspect that the money was transferred via shell companies and the Hawala channel.

The I-T department has not officially commented on the matter so far.

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