Raipur: A top bureaucrat from Chhattisgarh has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of money laundering. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s deputy secretary Soumya Chaurasia has been arrested by the ED.

In June last year, the Income Tax department had said it had busted an alleged hawala racket worth over Rs 100 crore following raids in Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur.

Under hawala transactions, cash transactions have taken place outside the formal banking system.

Soumya Chaurasia’s house was also raided in February 2020. The chief minister had termed the central agency’s raids as “political vendetta”. He had claimed that it was an attempt to “destabilise” his government.

In February 2020, chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel’s deputy secretary Soumya Chaurasia and his close aides were raided by the Income Tax department. At that time, raids were also conducted at the premises of two businessmen in Jagdalpur.

After the raids, the Chhattisgarh Police had seized 19 cars allegedly rented by income tax officials for the raid. The police said that all the vehicles were parked in the no-parking zone, so they collected the fine as per the Motor Vehicles Act and released the vehicles.

BJP leaders had raised the issue in the assembly and alleged that the police were trying to stop the IT raids.

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