Sources said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has reportedly sought documents that were seized during the searches conducted at the residences of Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar and his aides, DGP TK Rajendran and former city police commissioner S George to take the investigation forward.
The agency, sources added, wants to probe the case to check whether foreign funds or foreign countries were involved in the multi-crore scam, and also about the nature of financial dealings.
While the CBI took five persons into custody, including the owner of MDM, the gutkha company in the middle of the scam, A V Madhava Rao; Dr P Senthil Murugan of Food Safety and Drug Administration department; N K Pandian, Superintendent of Central Excise; and promoters of the tobacco company, Uma Shankar Gupta and P V Srinivasa Rao, it is believed that more arrests could follow based on probe by the ED.
The controversial case involves the payment of Rs 39 crore bribe, which was allegedly paid by the gutkha manufacture to top officials and the minister. The matter came to light after Income Tax officials carried out searches in 2016 following complaints that the company evaded tax to the tune of crores. During the searches, officials seized a diary from Madhava Rao which contained entries of bribe amounts paid to police officers.
Charges far from truth, says cop under fire
Meanwhile, coming under fire from his former superior officer who charged him with concealing details about the gutkha scam, S Jayakumar, now posted as the Superintendent of Villupuram district, denied allegations that he accepted bribe from gutkha dealers.
Addressing the media in Chennai on Friday, former Chennai City Police Commissioner S George had named Jayakumar, then a Deputy Commissioner, of being part of the scam. Even as he refused to comment about the allegations and the ongoing probe, Jayakumar pointed out that he has been ‘befittingly’ rewarded for the hard work he put in as the Deputy Commissioner of the Central Crime Branch. “Because he cannot point fingers at higher officials, we are being targeted,” said the officer, claiming that George’s allegations were far from truth.