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Sunday, Feb 10, 2002

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I-T raids on Bajoria continue

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INCOME-tax sleuths continued their raids on the premises of the controversial city-based jute baron and stock market financier, Mr Arun Bajoria, for the second day on Saturday.

I-T officials were tight-lipped about the purpose of the search and seizure operation but confirmed that the raid was continuing and was likely to extend into the next week.

Apart from his residential premises and offices, the investigation spilled over to several bank lockers and accounts. "A large number of lockers have already been sealed. At his premises, collection and examination of documents were on. So far no seizure has been made. The whole process may take another five days or so,'' a highly placed I-T source said.

Sources close to Mr Bajoria pointed an accusing finger at the management of a company which at one point of time last year was the target of an unsuccessful attempt by him to acquire over a five per cent stake through the creeping route.

I-T raids are not new to Mr Bajoria. He was subjected to one in 1985 when, among other things, a huge amount of cash running into several crores was seized.

Mr Bajoria controls six jute mills in West Bengal and two in Andhra Pradesh. He is reported to have a stranglehold over raw jute, jute products and the city-based stock broking business. The jute baron was also arrested once for Provident Fund defaults.

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