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Gutkha scam: CBI raids premises of Tamil Nadu Health Minister and DGP

Raids have been carried out at some 30 locations in various parts of Tamil Nadu since Wednesday morning, according to officials

Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai 

C Vijayabaskar, Vijayabaskar, Tamil Nadu Health Minister, Income Tax raids, raids, I-T, AIADMK
C Vijayabaskar, Tamil Nadu Health Minister. Photo: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has conducted raids at the residence of State Health and Family Welfare Minister and the office of the Director General Police (DGP), T K Rajendran, among others in connection with the

Raids have been carried out at some 30 locations in various parts of since Wednesday morning, according to officials.

Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) legislator J Anbazhagan wants Rajendran to step down. It was on Anbazhagan’s petition that the Madras High Court ordered a probe into the alleged scam.

Manufacturing, storing and sale of gutkha has been banned in the state since 2013, and it has been alleged that these products continue to sold illegally across the state. There are allegations that higher officials, including the minister, were bribed so that sales could continue.

The political party, Pattali Makkal Katchi, has sought the minister's resignation in the wake of fresh raids.

The Madras High Court had earlier directed the to probe the scam in which the names of several top political and police leaders were allegedly mentioned.

The allegations became public after a raid was conducted by the Income-Tax Department on some gutkha manufacturing units over suspected tax evasion of around Rs 2.5 billion.

During the investigation, authorities seized a diary, which reportedly contained details of bribes (around Rs 393 million) paid to various officials.

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered by the in May 2018 on the issue. Based on the FIR , the Enforcement Directorate had filed cases against unnamed government officials under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

First Published: Wed, September 05 2018. 16:36 IST