BHUBANESHWAR: The income tax department claimed Sunday to have uncovered nearly Rs 340 crore from multiple factories of an Odisha-based distillery linked to Congress’s Jharkhand MP Dhiraj Sahu in what is being termed as the most substantial

cash seizure

in a single operation in the coastal state. Over 50 bank employees used 40 machines for five days to count the pile of banknotes seized from factories in Balangir, Titlagarh and Sambalpur.
“We engaged bankers from three nationalised banks, including SBI.

Despite Saturday and Sunday being holidays, our personnel went beyond the call of duty and counted the cash. Some machines broke down during counting. Technicians stayed with us for repairs,” said a bank employee involved in the counting. The cash would be deposited in the bank on Monday.
The counting took place at SBI branches in Balangir, Titlagarh, and Sambalpur, with the enforcement directorate (ED) anticipated to investigate the money trail once the I-T proceedings conclude, sources said. ED is expected to look into potential money laundering aspects, explore possible links to hawala networks, and investigate the hoarding of cash for upcoming elections in


Congress distanced itself from Sahu amidst the developments. Party general secretary in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh posted on social media: “The Indian National Congress is in no way connected with the businesses of Dhiraj Sahu, MP. Only he can explain, and should explain, how huge amounts of cash have been reportedly unearthed by the income tax authorities from his properties.”

A Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) on black money is closely monitoring the I-T searches, having recently held a meeting to discuss strategies for detecting and curbing black money.

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