Gutka Scam: CBI launches search operations across Chennai

Chennai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday launched a massive search operation in 40 places in Chennai, including the house of Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, in connection with the multi-crore Gutka scam.

Houses of Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) TK Rajendran at Mogappair, former DGP S George near Maduravoyal and other police officers are also being searched.

The scam surfaced in July 2016 when the Income Tax (IT) department raided various properties of a Gutkha manufacturer, who was accused of evading taxes of Rs 250 crore.

The scam pertains to a report of the Income Tax Department sent to the then state chief secretary PS Rama Mohana Rao and Director General of Police Ashok Kumar that contained details of alleged payoffs made by the Gutkha manufacturer to some officials to allow the sale of banned tobacco products in the state.

In 2013, late J.Jayalalithaa who was then the chief minister of the state banned chewable forms of tobacco, including Gutka and Pan Masala in Chennai.