The gutkha scam in Tamil Nadu

Gutkha case: ED seeks I-T documents

A paan vendor selling "Gutkha", chewable tobacco at Sirpur Kagaznagar, Adilabad district, Telangana on April 26, 2018 .   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

After registering a case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Enforcement Directorate has written to the Income Tax department seeking copies of all documents relating to the alleged gutkha scam.

According to official sources, investigators have also got in touch with the GST Intelligence and the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) as part of their investigation.

Copies of seizures made during the July 2016 raid on the premises of MDM brand of gutkha by the Income Tax department were required to initiate further action.

The documents, including the book of accounts, seized by the Income Tax department led to the allegation that bribes to the tune of ₹39.91 crore were paid to the Health Minister, the Director-General of Police and others. Early this month, the Enforcement Directorate registered a case against unnamed Central/State government officials and others in the scam.

CBI probe on

In a related development, a special team of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Corruption Unit from New Delhi collected documents from the Directorate General of Vigilance (Customs and Central Excise), Food Safety Department, Income Tax Department and others.

The CBI had registered a case against unknown Central/State government officials and others in the scam. The central agency will probe how classified documents vanished from the Secretariat and Police Headquarters. The secret letter of the Principal Director of Investigation, Income Tax department, personally handed over to the then Chief Secretary P.S. Rama Mohana Rao and Director-General of Police Ashok Kumar went missing from their respective offices after they stepped down from service.

While the letter received by the then DGP was found in Veda Nilayam, residence of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in a raid by the Income Tax department in November 2017, the other document forwarded by Mr. Rao to the Chief Minister, who acknowledged it and wanted to take action, is still missing, the sources said and added that the DVAC files handed over relevant case files to the CBI.


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Printable version | Nov 26, 2021 8:32:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/gutkha-case-ed-seeks-i-t-documents/article24235831.ece

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