Enforcement Directorate carries out another round of searches in Karur in relation to Senthilbalaji’s case

At least 5 locations, including the residence of a personal assistant of the Minister and a finance company, were searched

Updated - August 03, 2023 09:10 pm IST

Published - August 03, 2023 08:47 pm IST - KARUR

Officials of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Thursday carried out searches at least five places in Karur, including the residence of a personal assistant of arrested Minister V. Senthilbalaji, who is in judicial custody at Chennai’s Puzhal Prison after he was arrested in an alleged money laundering case on June 14.

The residence of Sankar, personal assistant of the Minister, on Coimbatore Road; a finance company in Sengunthapuram and Dhanalaxmi Marbles in Chinna Andankoil were among the places searched. Sources said officials had to employ a locker mechanic to open the door of the finance company as they did not get any response from its proprietor despite repeated calls.

The officials were accompanied by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and began the searches around 8.30 a.m. on Thursday. The searches in Karur come a day after the ED searched the residence of a DMK functionary, a close associate of Mr. Senthilbalaji, at Vedasandur in Dindigul.

A 12-member ED team searched Mr. Saminathan’s relative Tyre Mani alias Kaliappan’s residence at Rajaji Street in Sakkara Nagar, near Paramathi Velur, in Namakkal on Thursday. The team also searched Mr. Kaliappan’s office on Old Bypass Road in Paramathi Velur.

The searches were reportedly for detecting the modus operandi of the alleged functioning of illegal bars linked to the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (Tasmac) outlets and the revenue generated and collected through the “Karur network.“

This is the second such search operation carried out in Karur since Mr. Senthilbalaji’s arrest, which was preceded by an eight-day-long searches by Income Tax (I-T) officials at the premises of his brother V. Ashok Kumar and others close to him.

I-T officials have so far conducted four rounds of searches at the premises of the Minister’s acquaintances since the last week of May. Some of the locations searched in Karur that were sealed by I-T officials are yet to be unsealed and the private office of Mr. Senthilbalaji and his brother at Ramakrishnapuram numbers among them. Mr. Ashok Kumar is yet appear before the ED or I-T Department despite repeated summons.

Coimbatore searches

Sources said ED teams also conducted searches at three locations in Coimbatore in connection with the same case.

The searches were carried out at the residence of Tasmac Supervisor Muthubalan on Maniam Subramaniam Street and properties linked to a private construction firm Arun & Associates in Nadar Colony and the founder of the firm Arun Prasad Prakashan’s house in Sivaram Nagar, all in the Ramanathapuram area of Coimbatore city.

Five officials accompanied by personnel of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) conducted the searches, sources said. 

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