The amount of cash confiscated in the Income-Tax Department's raids on various properties in Odisha, associated with Baldeo Sahu and Group of Companies Ltd, a distillery business operated by family members of Dhiraj Sahu, a Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand, has surpassed Rs 350 crore.
This marks the highest-ever cash seizure by an agency in a single operation.
The process of counting the seized currency notes spanned five days, ending on Sunday.
The confiscated money was transported in bags to three branches of SBI - Balangir, Sambalpur, and Titlagarh - for counting.
The Balangir branch of SBI received the highest number of bags, 176 in total, filled with cash, necessitating the deployment of extra staff for the counting process.
“Counting of seized notes by I-T Department has been completed after five days. Total 25 machines and 50 bank officials worked extra hours even on the weekend to complete the process. Total amount is estimated at Rs 305 crore,” a senior SBI officer was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Furthermore, the amount counted at the Sambalpur branch was around Rs 37.50 crore, and the estimated amount at the Titlagarh branch was Rs 11 crore.
The seized money taken to the three branches since 6 December will reportedly be deposited in accounts suggested by the I-T department on Monday.
The I-T officials are investigating two employees of the liquor production facility in an attempt to trace the origin of the confiscated "unaccounted cash".
The future actions of the agency will be determined based on the statements of these employees.
Senior Income Tax officials from Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar are camping in Balangir to monitor the probe.
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