19 July 2019 9:08 AM GMT
Chennai : The Income Tax department on Wednesday conducted series of raids at the premises of Tamil Nadu's biggest beedi manufacturer, Seyad Beedi Company.
The raids come a day after a section of media claimed to have accessed IT documents that linked some ruling party leaders and top officials with a mega 'gutka' scam.
They allegedly facilitated sale of the banned mouth freshener across the state.
But it's not clear whether the raids at some 40 premises of the beedi manufacturer located in Chennai, Madurai and Tirunelveli are related to the 'gutka' scam.
There are allegations of tax evasion against the company and the raids could be related to that.
A team of IT sleuths visited the company's main unit at Tirunelvei in southern Tamil Nadu and its offices in Chennai early morning. The raids that began at 7am were still on, local police sources said.
There is no word yet on the recoveries made. The IT department may issue a statement later in the evening after it winds up the searches of the company and its related offices.
The IT had claimed to have unearthed some documents during previous raids at the residences of some ministers and officials that contained some entries relating to payments made to them by 'gutka' companies to facilitate their business.
The IT department also asked the state government last year to investigate the matter.
However, the state government has not initiated any action so far on the gutka-gate allegations.
Opposition DMK and PMK demanded immediate dismissal of the ministers and a CBI probe into the matter.
On Wednesday, the DMK staged a walkout in the assembly after speaker P. Dhanapal rejected the party's plea to raise the 'gutka' scam in the house.