Bhubaneswar: The Income Tax (I-T) department, while continuing its raids on Sunday on a number of premises linked to Congress’ Chhattisgarh Rajya Sabha member Dhiraj Sahu  in Odisha for the fifth consecutive day, interrogated two managers is of the Sahu family to extract more information from them.

The two managers who were interrogated include Bunty Sahoo and Rajesh Sahu.

Along with the raids, a team of bank officials continued with the counting of the seized money inside Bolangir State Bank of India (SBI) Main Branch.

Sources said the I-T officials on Sunday decided to engage more men and machines for counting the money recovered from the country-liquor manufacturing units.

Though the I-T officials have not yet mentioned the amount of total money recovered till Sunday, sources said it could pass Rs 300 crore, the biggest ever haul in the state so far.

On the other hand, the counting of seized money was completed in Titlagarh and Sambalpur. Around Rs 11 crore was seized from Titlagarh while another Rs 37.50 crore was seized from Sambalpur.

Several workers working in the liquor shops of the Sahu family have been absconding since the I-T raid. This has led to a rise in the price of liquor in several parts of Odisha, it was learnt.

On the other hand, there

are several other liquor outlets of the Sahu family that are yet to be raided. Speculations are rife that crores of rupees have been hidden in interior and rural villages to avoid I-T glare. Moreover, there are also reports of crores of rupees being burnt by the workers of the wine outlets.

The exact amount of seized money will be revealed by the Income Tax department director general in New Delhi through a press meet only after the counting process is over, an I-T department official said.

Speaking to the media, senior branch manager of Union Bank of India, Dharmendra Sahu said, "We have finished counting 50 per cent of the seized money while there is another 50 per cent to count. At least 60-70 personnel have been engaged in the counting of the money. All guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are being followed."

In the latest update, SBI Regional Manager informed that the authorities and bank staff have finished counting the money in 140 bags out of the total 176 seized bags. The remaining 36 bags of money will also be counted today.

"At least 40 counting machines are currently being used for the counting with several more machines there for backup in case of any malfunction," he added. Both Bunty and Rajesh Sahu refrained from commenting on the issue.

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