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CBI recovers ₹11.47 lakh in cash, ₹26.49 lakh in old demonetised currency at former Manipur CM Ibobi Singh's residence

Some branded items and eight luxury cars of Audi, Mitsibushi, Honda and Hyundai were also found during the searches at the residence of former Chief Minister of Manipur.

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday searched several locations in Gurugram, Aizawl and Imphal in connection with the alleged embezzlement of ₹332 crore by the then chairmen of Manipur Development Society (MDS), including former Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh.

The searches were conducted on the day when Manipur Congress legislators led by the former Chief Minister staged a protest in Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the Naga accord.

Speaking to The Hindu, he said he was not scared and he would fight for justice.

“Not only the CBI, we welcome other agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and the National Investigation Agency also. I will give full cooperation,” he said, adding that the probe should not have any political vendetta.

A CBI official said the agency had taken over two cases instituted earlier by the Manipur police, on a reference from the State government. Clubbed as one case, the FIR was registered on Wednesday. “During searches, ₹26.49 lakh in demonetised notes were found on Mr. Ibobi Singh’s premises,” he said.

Among the former MDS chairmen named are Mr. Ibobi Singh, and retired IAS officials D.S. Poonia, P.C. Lawmuknga and O. Nabakishore Singh. Former project director Y. Ningthem Singh and then administrative officer Ranjit Singh of the MDS have also been arraigned.

As alleged, while working as chairmen of the MDS from June 30, 2009, to July 6, 2017, they misappropriated the amount allocated for development works.

According to the CBI, the searches led to seizure of ₹15.47 lakh in cash and about ₹36.49 lakh in demonetised currency. Documents of several immovable properties and bank accounts were also found.

“From the premises of the former Chief Minister, ₹11.47 lakh in cash was seized apart from the demonetised notes. Several vehicles were also found. Another amount of ₹10 lakh in trashed notes was seized on the former project director’s premises, besides papers of two palatial properties in Imphal.

Preliminary CBI findings suggested that Mr. Poonia allegedly had properties located in Delhi, Gurugram and Noida.

Mr. Nabakishore has a four-storey building spread over 7,000 square feet, two more houses, one flat each in Gurugram and Ghaziabad, and an under construction two-storey building in Manipur, said the official. His wife and son have a car dealership in Imphal.

The administrative officer has a house in Aizawl and an agricultural land in Imphal in his wife's name, as alleged.

Possessing demonetised currency is an offence under the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, and the guilty can be fined five times the amount involved.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 1:39:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cbi-conducts-multi-city-raids-over-alleged-misappropriation-of-development-funds-in-manipur/article30051495.ece

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