The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has expanded the scope of its investigation into the Chattisgarh coal levy scam and carried out fresh rounds of raids on Friday in the State, including at premises of IAS officer Anbalagan P, to unearth the racket flourishing through nexus of bureaucrats and coal traders.
The Friday’s crackdown comes more than a month after the ED had attached assets such as flats, jewellery, cash and plots worth ₹152.31 crore. They allegedly belonged to other bureaucrats like Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s Deputy Secretary Saumya Chaurasia and IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi, who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the case.
The sleuths swooped down at places in Raipur, Korba, Ranchi and Durg in Jharkhand and Bengaluru of Karnataka, said agency sources.
It is learnt that premises of Secretary of Water Resources Department, Tourism and Culture, Anbalagan P, was also searched. The 2004 IAS officer had previously done a stint as Seretary of Mineral Resources Department which the agency officials are scruitinising in their probe to identify the government linkages with coal traders.
The ED had alleged that it was probing “a massive scam in which illegal levy of ₹25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen”.
The ED began money laundering investigation after taking up an Income Tax Department complaint post last June. The ED has accused that Suryakant Tiwari, who is alleged to be a close associate of Chhattisgarh CM, was the “key henchman” in the racket for extorting money from coal transporters and industrialists.