Income Tax sleuths on Saturday raided the residences of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda after the Enforcement Directorate registered a case against him and his three former ministerial colleagues for alleged money laundering and diversion of state funds.
According to a senior IT official, separate teams conducted raids at Koda’s residences in Ranchi and Chaibasa.
“We can only tell later,” he said when asked about the number of places being raided.
The Enforcement Directorate had registered the case on October 9 against them also on charges of making huge illegal investments abroad including purchase of mines as far as in Liberia. Koda was chief minister between February 2006 and August 2008.
38-year-old Koda, who may also face arrest, is the first former chief minister and high-profile politician to have been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The ED had filed an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), which is equivalent to an FIR, before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Ranchi against Koda and three of his cabinet colleagues -Kamlesh Singh, Bhanu Pratap Shahi and Bhandu Tirkey - besides five other persons.
According to the ECIR, Koda is alleged to have purchased mines in Liberia worth $17 lakh (Rs 8.5 crore) besides making other ‘benami’ purchases in the name of his close confidant Binod Sinha, once a tractor mechanic.
As per the ECIR, the property in the name of Sinha runs into several hundred crores of rupees.
One time close associate of RSS, Koda shot into fame after he clinched a political coup with Congress support by becoming chief minister of the mineral rich state in 2006 as an independent MLA, the third politician in the country to achieve this feat.
Koda and eight others have been accused of amassing property worth hundreds of crores of rupees including those in places like UAE, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Liberia.
As per the declaration given by the three ministers individually, nobody had bank deposits more than Rs 1.9 lakh or immovable property worth over Rs 1.15 lakh.
The ED was looking into details of real wealth of the accused persons.
Two other cabinet colleagues of Koda have already been booked by the ED for alleged money laundering, foreign exchange violations and forgery.
The ED swung into action after Jharkhand vigilance department lodged a complaint and searched the homes of Koda, and Hari Narayan Rai and Enos Ekka, both former ministers.
ED officials claimed they had come across documents suggesting that the former ministers had amassed huge wealth including mines, real estate firms and property also in Hong Kong.