T.N. Minister Senthilbalaji’s arrest | Income Tax officials begin searches in Karur for the third time in seven weeks

I-T officials began searching premises of persons linked to arrested T.N. Minister V. Senthilbalaji; a residence and a weaving factory are among the premises being searched on Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Updated - July 12, 2023 12:12 pm IST

Published - July 11, 2023 10:38 am IST - KARUR

Personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force at a weaving factory in Karur, where Income Tax officials carried out searches on July 11, 2023

Personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force at a weaving factory in Karur, where Income Tax officials carried out searches on July 11, 2023 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Income Tax Department officials on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 resumed searches in Karur on the premises of the acquaintances of Minister V. Senthilbalaji, who is in judicial custody after being arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement in a money laundering case on June 14.

The officials, drafted from Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi and Madurai, arrived at the targetted places in groups and began the searches around 8 a.m. Sources said the searches were under way in at least 10 places in Karur and neighbouring villages.

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The residence of Subramani, managing partner of Kongu Mess (a restaurant) at Rayanur, the Sri Ramavilas weaving factory at Chinna Andankoil, Sakthi Mess on Karur-Coimbatore Road, the office of a finance company on Coimbatore Road, a stone-crusher office at Thirukampuliyur, the office of government contractor M.C. Sankar on 80-Feet Road and his farmhouse at Mayanur were among the places that were searched.

The searches were being carried out with the protection of the Central Reserve Police Force. No outsiders and unauthorised persons were allowed to enter the premises. The searches continued beyond 6.30 p.m.

The premises were brought under the scanner when officials carried out an eight-day long search operation, beginning on May 26. Some of the houses and the offices were then sealed for non-cooperation by the residents. Subsequently, the Enforcement Directorate, on June 13, searched Mr. Senthilbalaji’s official chamber at the Secretariat and his bungalow in Chennai, his residence at Rameswarapatti and places linked to him in Karur and Coimbatore. Thereafter, he was arrested. Later he was hospitalised, and underwent a heart surgery. He is recuperating at a private hospital in Chennai.

Tuesday’s searches were the third within seven weeks. The private office of Mr. Senthilbalaji and his brother V. Ashok Kumar at Ramakrishnapuram, which was sealed on June 2, remains closed. Mr. Ashok Kumar is yet to appear before the I-T Department even after he was summoned twice.

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