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ED carries out raids in Chhattisgarh linked to coal levy scam 

Coal India embarks on recruitment drive

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday conducted fresh searches at nearly a dozen locations in Chhattishgarh in the mining and coal levy scam.

The residential and office premises of various Congress leaders including Ram Gopal Agarwal, Girish Devangan, RP Singh, Vinod Tiwari and Sunny Agrawal were seacrhed, said sources.

Last month, the ED had also raided multiple locations in Chhattisgarh, including that of an IAS officer, and other locations in connection with its ongoing money laundering probe into the alleged coal levy scam in the state.

The federal investigation agency launched a probe in this case in October last year after it raided another IAS officer of the state, Sameer Vishnoi, and some businessmen.

Sameer Vishnoi IAS Officer of 2009 Batch and his wife were found to be in possession of Rs 47 Lacs of unaccounted cash and Gold jewellery of 4 kg.

The investigation relates to “a massive scam in which illegal levy of Rs 25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen”, the agency has alleged.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s deputy secretary Saumya Chaurasia, Vishnoi, coal trader and alleged “main kingpin of the scam” Suryakant Tiwari, his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari and another coal businessman Sunil Agrawal have been arrested in this case till now.

The ED had earlier claimed in a statement that Chaurasia, Vishnoi and some coal traders allegedly linked to them “used” their relatives to create “benami” assets after it attached their properties worth more than Rs 150 crore in December last year.

The agency alleged that a “grand conspiracy” was hatched in the natural resources-rich state to perpetrate a coal levy ‘scam’ in which Rs 540 crore has been “extorted” over the last two years.

The money laundering case stems from an Income Tax department complaint that was registered following raids by the taxman in June 20.