MP honey-trap racket: I-T dept seeks details from SIT about Benami transactions of accused, victims
The details sought by the IT Department from the SIT, particularly include details of any Benami properties or transactions by those arrested or those indirectly linked or trapped by the racket.
BHOPAL: The Income Tax department has sought from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Madhya Pradesh Police details about the high-profile alleged honey-trap racket busted in September.
A high-placed IT Department official confirmed to The New Indian Express on Tuesday that the department has sought details about the alleged racket from the SIT. The SIT was first requested for the details some weeks back, but a reminder has been sent to the SIT recently for the details.
The details sought by the IT Department from the SIT, particularly include details of any Benami properties or transactions by those arrested or those indirectly linked or trapped by the racket, whose busting has jolted the political and bureaucratic circles of the central Indian state.
Also, the IT Department has sought details about any concealed income of those directly or indirectly linked to the racket. “We’ve requested the SIT to share details pertaining to possible concealed or undetected income of those arrested or those honey-trapped by the accused. In this context we’ve requested the SIT to share information in any diary seized by them or audio or video clips seized by them which hold information about possibility of concealed income,” said the IT Department official in Bhopal.
Importantly, even the Enforcement Directorate has reportedly sought information from the SIT about the financial dealings of the accused or others linked or trapped by the racket, particularly as large volume of cash to the tune of over Rs One crore has so far seized by cops.
An alleged high-profile honey trap racket was busted with arrest of five women and a man in Indore and Bhopal on September 18. Investigations into the racket revealed the racket had trapped many influential individuals, including politicians, bureaucrats, senior cops and other rich persons to get big monetary gains or secure big projects from those in power.
Two months after the racket was busted, a tabloid Sanjha Lokswami owned by Indore-based influential businessman Jeetu Soni had published series of exposes of powerful persons, including an ex-MP minister and ex-bureaucrat’s connections with the busted racket women accused.
A suspended Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) official Harbhajan Singh, on whose complaint the racket was busted on September 18, had registered a case against the tabloid owner and his editor son of defaming him and invading his privacy by publishing a story against him. Subsequently, multi-department teams searched the commercial and residential premises owned by Jeetu Soni in Indore recently and arrested his newspaper editor son Amit Soni and a staffer who managed My Home – a hotel and bar.
Over 30 cases, including cases of human trafficking, blackmailing, extortion and capture of immovable properties of others have so far been registered against absconding Jeetu Soni and his arrested son. A Rs 30,000 bounty has been declared on Jeetu Soni’s arrest and the Indore Police have sent a recommendation to state government to raise the reward to Rs One lakh.
A lookout notice too has been issued to prevent Jeetu Soni from fleeing the country, while many illegal constructions in residential and commercial properties owned by him have been demolished by the IMC recently.
Also, the ADG-Indore Zone Varun Kapoor was recently transferred to the state PHQ and as per sources the government has shifted him, as he didn’t proactively led the cops during action against Soni and aides. Some more cops presently posted in Indore and being among Soni’s sympathizers could be shifted out of Indore in coming days, sources added.