Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Income Tax department continues to find huge stashes of ‘undeclared cash’ from liquor manufacturers in Odisha after raids in different places for more than 48 hours.

As per reports, the I-T sleuths have so far unearthed more than Rs 200 crore cash from liquor makers, particularly from a country-liquor manufacturer at Sudapada in Bolangir.

While the raids were carried out at Sambalpur, Bolangir, Titilagarh, Boudh, Sundargarh, Rourkela and Bhubaneswar, it is said that the department is in no mood to stop and will continue its searches for some more days. Income Tax DG, Sanjay Bahadur is currently in Bhubaneswar overseeing the operations.

The authorities are also trying to find out the links with this cash and it is expected that they will soon make arrests in this connection.

It is pertinent to mention here that the raids in Odisha started in connection with a Rajya Sabha MP from Ranchi. So the political connection behind so much of cash cannot be ruled out.

The I-T sleuths had begun their operation in Odisha with raids on multiple divisions of Boudh Distilleries Private Limited, a company manufacturing liquor.

As per reports, more than Rs 150 crore in cash was seized on Thursday during raids at the Bolangir office of Baldeo Sahu & Group of Companies, one of the biggest country-liquor manufacturers and selling companies in western Odisha by the income tax sleuths who were surprised to see so much money stashed in an almirah.

Baldeo Sahu & Group of Companies is a partner firm of Boudh Distillery Pvt Ltd (BDPL), which was raided yesterday too.

The income tax teams also raided the house, office, and country liquor distillery at Sargipali in Sundargarh city on Wednesday. Raids were also conducted at the corporate office of Boudh Distillery Pvt Ltd at Palasapalli in Bhubaneswar, the houses of some company officials, the company's factory and office in Boudh Ramchikata and at the Ranisati Rice Mill.

Meanwhile, counting of the seized cash is currently going on at the SBI Main Branch in Bolangir with the help of seven counting machines. As per reports, only 6-7 bags out of the 156 bags of money have been counted so far which has so far amounted to Rs 20 cr. 

An I-T team is at the bank with the manager of country-liquor unit at Sudapada, Bolangir and two others.