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Chhattisgarh: ED conducts searches at Congress leader's house in Raipur
Raipur: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Tuesday reportedly carried out search operations at separate locations in Raipur in mining and alleged coal levy scam.
The search was reportedly conducted at the office belonging to a Congress leader Ram Gopal Agrawal at Gore Parisar under Civil Lines police station and at the residence of industrialist Kamal Sarda at Shankar Nagar. However, no official confirmation was made in this connection by the official of ED. The presence of CRPF personnel was witnessed at both locations.
Earlier on February 20, search operations were conducted by the ED at nearly a dozen locations in Chhattisgarh in mining and alleged coal levy scam.
The places searched include residential and office premises of various Congress leaders naming Ram Gopal Agarwal, Girish Devangan, RP Singh, Vinod Tiwari ad Sunny Agrawal, said sources.
In January, the ED had also raided multiple locations in Chhattisgarh, including that of an IAS officer, and other locations in connection with its ongoing money laundering probe into the alleged coal levy scam in the state.
The federal investigation agency launched a probe in this case in October last year after it raided another IAS officer of the state, Sameer Vishnoi, and some businessmen.
Sameer Vishnoi IAS Officer of 2009 Batch and his wife were found to be in possession of Rs 47 Lakh unaccounted cash and gold jewellery of 4 kg.
The investigation relates to "a massive scam in which illegal levy of Rs 25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen", the agency has alleged.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel's deputy secretary Saumya Chaurasia, Vishnoi, coal trader and alleged "main kingpin of the scam" Suryakant Tiwari, his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari and another coal businessman Sunil Agrawal have been arrested in this case till now.
The ED had earlier claimed in a statement that Chaurasia, Vishnoi and some coal traders allegedly linked to them "used" their relatives to create "benami" assets after it attached their properties worth more than Rs 150 crore in December last year.
The agency alleged that a "grand conspiracy" was hatched in the natural resources-rich state to perpetrate a coal levy 'scam' in which Rs 540 crore has been "extorted" over the last two years.
The money laundering case stems from an Income Tax department complaint that was registered following raids by the taxman in June 2022. (ANI)