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CBI questions ED Deputy Director in Tamil Nadu gutka scam

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The CBI Thursday questioned a senior officer, a recipient of Presidential Certificate, in connection with the scam in which several politicians, policemen and customs and excise officials are under scanner, officials said.

They, however, refused to disclose whether S K Sheoran, presently posted as in the Enforcement Directorate, was questioned as a witness or a suspect in the case.

He was posted as of when the scam allegedly took place and questioning pertained to his work, they said.

Sheoran, an (Customs and Central Excise) officer, was questioned by the agency at its Chennai office Thursday, they said.

He is a recipient of Presidential Award of Appreciation Certificate for specially distinguished record of service, given to the officers of the on in 2015.

The agency also questioned of Police, Villupuram, Jayakumar, the then of Central Crime Branch, in connection with the scam at its office in Chennai, they said.

The scam surfaced when a diary of purported payments to the high and mighty in police, politics and other regulator agencies was seized during searches at the godown, offices and residence of a manufacturer on July 8, 2017.

The company was allegedly manufacturing and selling MGM brand of (a concoction of tobacco and pan masala) in in spite of a ban imposed on such activities in the state in 2013.

The company was facing charges of tax evasion to the tune of Rs 250 crore.

A had approached the in April this year, seeking a CBI probe into the alleged bribery of top officials and politicians who allowed the company to operate with impunity in the state, they said.

It was alleged by the petitioner that monthly payments worth over Rs 14 lakh were made to Vijayabaskar, while payments in lakhs of rupees were made to officials of the Central Excise, and Sales Tax department of the state, senior police officials and politicians, among others.

This was challenged in the by a health official but the apex court sided with the order and asked the CBI to register a case.

The agency had registered an FIR against unidentified officials of the Tamil Nadu government, the and the Department in May.

The company was earlier known as and was rechristened as to continue the sale after Tamil Nadu banned gutka in 2013, they said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 11 2018. 20:10 IST