CBI raids at 23 locations in Kolkata, Ranchi over hawala dealings
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today conducted raids at 23 locations in Ranchi and Kolkata in connection with suspected shell companies involved in hawala dealings. Raids were conducted at premises of Tapas K Dutta, principal secretary, Income Tax-Department at Salt Lake, and other officials in Kolkata and Ranchi.
The searches were conducted in 18 locations in Kolkata and five in Ranchi, CBI sources said.
The raids were related to an ongoing investigation of a case registered against Dutta, three other officials of the Income Tax Department and six private persons, including a chartered accountant, and unidentified others.
The allegations include criminal conspiracy, taking illegal gratification and criminal misconduct, the sources said.
"It is alleged that Dutta and three other Income Tax officials conspired with six private persons, including a chartered accountant, and some unidentified persons," the official added.
The CBI officers questioned Dutta at the IT office in Ranchi. Sources in the know of things said the raids were related to hawala transactions.
Last week, the CBI had raided the house if former Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Managing Director P K Goyal. The CBI raid was in connection with the corruption case filed by it against RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities in leasing of two railway hotels to a private company when Lalu was the Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009.
The CBI had also raided 12 locations in Ranchi, Patna, New Delhi and Gurgaon, after registering a corruption case against Lalu Yadav and his family members including his son, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav.
CBI Additional Director Rakesh Asthana said in New Delhi that Lalu Prasad had allegedly granted illegal favours to Sujata Hotels through the IRCTC.
A total of 37,000 shell companies have been identified by tax authorities post demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said on July 1, adding that data was being analysed to recognise more spurious entities.