Meghalaya: Opposition accuses CM, Power Minister of derailing investigation into 2017 IRS scam



The Opposition Congress, on Friday, accused Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma and Power Minister James P.K. Sangma of tampering evidence and derailing the investigation into the 2017 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scam, where the Leader of Opposition (LO), Mukul Sangma alleged the involvement of SS Netcom, a company co-owned by the family of the Chief Minister.

While addressing reporters, Opposition and CLP leader Mukul Sangma said the scam involves the two Sangma brothers and their family members and accused them of derailing the entire investigation.

“Both the brothers have forced the police to charge sheet the case in the court without completing the investigation. The police were not allowed to verify the data and information from the laptops which were seized and all the transcripts,” Sangma said.

He also alleged that SS Netcom had recruited some job seekers for IT services from Shillong and various parts of the North East and sent them for training in Ahmedabad under a fake company called Irfan Faizal and Amit (IFA).

According to him, the IFA was rented out by SS Netcom, and they trained the youths to engage in criminal activities.

Referring to a letter by the Superintendent of Police to the DIG (Eastern Range) on February 1, 2019, Sangma said the letter is self-explanatory as the SP had stated that the disposal of cases had fallen drastically despite the supervision and guidance by gazetted officers.

The letter stated that the transfer and posting of inspector M.M Khan and UBSI Pinto Das created fear among officers of the district since the officers were handling high-profile cases and others were left with a strong feeling that the transfer could have been because of these reasons.

Sangma said that the letter also requested to take up the matter with the Police Headquarters on priority for retaining Inspector M.M Khan and UB Pinto Das in this district.

“I recently came to know that they had transferred the investigating officer. It is for this reason I say that the two brothers are tampering the entire process of law,” Sangma said.

Sangma further referred to case 120b, Laitumkhrah PS, case no 134/2017, registered on August 28, 2017, before the elections under sections 120 b 419, 420, 465, 201, IPC and 66d of IT Act for allegedly running a fake call centre in the premises of SS Netcom.

“I did not interfere with the investigation since we believe in the judiciary and the administration of justice. We must ensure that the law takes its course,” he said.

The Opposition leader also demanded the state government to call for an immediate meeting of the State Security Commission and to find the answers concerning the transfer and posting of the police officials, and the alleged tampering of evidence.

IRS scams involve scammers targeting American taxpayers by impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collection officers.

A six-member special investigation team led by Superintendent of Police, Shillong City, Vivek Syiem, was formed in 2017 to conduct a thorough probe into the scam in collaboration with Assam, Gujarat and Maharashtra Police including the Enforcement Directorate.

(Edited by Andre Kongri)


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