The Income Tax (I-T) department officials on Sunday continued their raids on the premises linked to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dhiraj Sahu for the fifth consecutive day. The raids in Odisha are being carried out on properties linked to the influential Sahu family and his two managers Rajesh Sahu and Bunty Sahu.
The interrogation of the two managers is underway to extract more information from them, sources said.
Despite being a Sunday, a team of officials continued with the counting of the seized money inside Bolangir State Bank of India (SBI) Main Branch. If reports are to be believed, more counting machines and manpower will be engaged in the counting of the seized money.
On the other hand, the counting of seized money has been completed in Titlagarh and Sambalpur. Around Rs 11 crore was seized from Titlagarh while another Rs 37.50 crore was seized from Sambalpur.
Meanwhile, several workers working in the wine shops of the Sahu family have been absconding since the I-T raid. This has led to a rise in the price of liquor in several parts of Odisha, it was learnt.
On the other hand, there are several other wine outlets of the Sahu family that are yet to be raided. Speculations are rife that crores of rupees have been hidden in interior and rural villages to avoid I-T glare. Moreover, there are also reports of crores of rupees being burnt by the workers of the wine outlets.
The exact amount of seized money will be revealed by the Income Tax Dept DG through a press meet only after the counting process is over.
Speaking to the media, Senior Branch Manager of Union Bank of India, Dharmendra Sahu said, “We have finished counting 50% of the seized money while there is another 50% to count. At least 60-70 personnel have been engaged in the counting of the money. All guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are being followed."
In the latest update, SBI Regional Manager informed that the authorities and bank staffs have finished the counting of money in 140 bags out of the total 176 seized bags. The remaining 36 bags of money will also be counted today.
"At least 40 counting machines are currently being used for the counting with several more machines there for backup in case of any malfunction," he added.
Meanwhile, both, Bunty and Rajesh Sahu refrained from commenting on the issue.