The gutkha scam in Tamil Nadu

Gutkha scam: ED files money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday registered a case against unnamed Central/State government officials and others in the gutkha scam under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

According to agency sources, the investigators would focus on corruption and follow the money trail. Documents seized by the Income Tax Department from a gutkha manufacturer two years ago 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.

The probe by the Enforcement Directorate stems from the CBI case.

“We will be writing to the CBI, the Income Tax Department and the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, seeking copies of documents in the case. Provisions under the Prevention of Corruption Act will also be invoked against the accused,” an ED source said.

The official said details of the excise duty and income tax paid by the manufacturer of the MDM brand of gutkha would be sought as part of the investigation. “Our probe has revealed that the manufacturer admitted to the Income Tax Department and the GST Intelligence the quantum of profits he and his partners made through the sale of gutkha in Chennai. He even paid excise duty to the tune of about ₹9 crore and offered to pay income tax also,” the official said.

Under the PMLA, proceeds of crime can be attached besides prosecuting the accused for the offence of corruption.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 9:00:51 AM |

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