Pradeep Pattanayak

The counting of cash seized during I-T raids on the properties linked to a liquor trader at Sudapada in Bolangir district ended on Sunday and the total value of the seized amount was reported to be around Rs 305 crore. 

For the counting of this seizure of cash said to be the ‘highest-ever’ in a single action conducted by any probe agency in the country, about 25 counting machines and 50 bank staff were engaged. 

The raids were first conducted on December 6 and the I-T officials stumbled upon huge amounts of cash stashed in the Sudpada distillery unit in Bolangir district.

The cash in 165 bags was taken to a nearby SBI branch for counting. Later, huge amounts of cash were seized from the country liquor manufacturing unit at Dhanupali and the office of Baldeo Sahu and Group of Companies Ltd located in Sambalpur district. The seized cash was taken to the Sambalpur SBI branch in two vans. 

While the counting at Titlagarh ended at Rs 11 crore, the value of notes seized from Baldeo Sahu & Sons was Rs 37.5 crore. The value of the total seized cash put together is believed to be around Rs 348 crore. 

As of now, the I-T department is investigating to ascertain the source of such a huge amount and its owner. The two managers of Bolangir brewery are currently being interrogated by the I-T officials.

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