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IT raids on Soren’s personal secretary, other officials
Published on 16 Feb. 2010 11:55 PM IST
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The income tax department Tuesday raided the properties of several senior officials, including Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren’s personal secretary M.L. Pal, in connection with the Rs.2,500 crore money laundering scam involving former chief minister Madhu Koda. “Raids were being conducted at 70 places in several states,” Ujjawal Chaudhary, income tax director (investigation), told IANS. Sources in the department added that the raids were on in at least 13 states, including West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Delhi. Amongst those whose properties were being raided were Soren’s personal secretary Pal, two former chiefs of Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) V.N. Pandey and S.M. Verma as well as retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) bureaucrat and former mines secretary Jaishankar Tiwari. Pal, who rose from being an engineer in a coal company to the owner of three houses, had earlier been raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). On Tuesday, officials swooped down on his homes in Jamshedpur and Ranchi. Tiwari, who was mines secretary when Koda was chief minister, admitted that Koda put pressure on him to get work done. He had also said Koda had cleared a file regarding recommendation of a mining lease to his close associate Vinod Sinha. Two jewellery shops in Ranchi and a company involved in rural electrification work were also raided. “The raids are being conducted at the properties of a few officials and two ex-chairmen of JSEB. A large-scale scam was found in rural electrification work,” said an official, speaking on condition of anonymity. According to sources, the raids are related to the Koda scam unearthed last October. While Koda is in jail for assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, his two associates Vinod Sinha and Sanjay Chaudhary are still absconding. On Oct 9 last year, Koda was booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). With him were three former ministers as well as Vinod Sinha and Sanjay Chaudhary.

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