Searches were carried out at nearly 40 locations in Tamil Nadu by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday in connection with the Gutka scam. Places, including the residences of the director general of police and the health minister of state were raided, said officials.
According to the officials, exact locations of the searches was not revealed however, it had spread across the state. The searches may hamper the ongoing operations, they added.
The residences of Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and DGP TK Rajendran, besides that of a former senior police official, among others are being searched, said officials.
The scam appeared in headlines on July 8, 2017 while income tax sleuths had carried raids at the godown, offices and residences of a pan masala and gutka (a concoction of tobacco and pan masala) manufacturer in Tamil Nadu.
The manufacturer had been facing charges of tax evasion to the tune of Rs 250 crore.
During the raids, the department had seized a diary, containing names of those who had been allegedly paid by the gutka manufacturers.
The Madras High Court had handed over the case to the CBI in April this year, on the plea of a DMK leader.
An FIR was registered against unidentified officials of the Tamil Nadu government, Central Excise Department and the Food Safety Department by the agency in May.
The Tamil Nadu government had banned the manufacture, storage and sale of the chewable forms of tobacco, including gutka and pan masala in 2013.