The CBI has carried out searches at the Chennai residence of Additional Commissioner, GST, Senthil Valavaen in connection with the Gutkha scam, officials said Thursday. Searches were also conducted at the residence of S Sridhar, former additional commissioner, System and Central Excise Intelligence, DGCEI, in Chennai.
The gutkha scam came to light in July 2017, when Income Tax sleuths raided the godown, offices and residences of a pan masala and gutkha manufacturer who was facing charges of tax evasion to the tune of Rs 250 crore. The Tamil Nadu government had banned the manufacture, storage and sale of chewable forms of tobacco, including gutkha and pan masala, in 2013. The gutkha manufacturer had allegedly paid bribes to a Tamil Nadu minister and officials to facilitate the production and sale.