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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Raids on Indian government staff
India's Central Bureau of Investigation
CBI headquarters - it is the agency's fourth big operation this year
India's top detective agency has carried out nationwide raids on government officials suspected of corruption, officials say.

The director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, US Mishra, said that 39 corruption cases have been registered against 70 officials.

More than 2,000 investigators were involved in a 50-city operation.

This is the fourth time this year that the CBI has carried out anti-corruption raids in the country.

'Illegal property'

According to early information, illegal property worth $3m has been found during the raids, the CBI director said.

He told journalists that CBI officials had raided nearly 200 places in more than 50 cities across the country in a day-long anti-corruption operation.

Mr Mishra said no arrests were made but investment certificates, property papers and jewellery worth $ 3.3m as well as $186,000 in cash were seized.

The CBI director said more than $255,000 in cash was recovered from the house of a tax official in the southern city of Madras, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Mr Mishra said he had been told that information about the raids was leaked by some CBI officials before the exercise began.

He said this would be investigated and action would be taken if any CBI officer was found guilty.

"We will push for at least suspension of the officials found guilty in these cases," Mr Mishra was quoted as saying by AP.

Country-wide raids by the CBI also took place in February, April and June.

It is not clear what action has been taken against the people questioned in those raids.

Earlier this week, the CBI raided 10 places in the capital, Delhi, and said they had unearthed a scam involving life insurance policies.

The agency registered a case against four officials and five agents of the state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) for diverting insurance remittances.

Corruption is endemic in the country.



SEE ALSO:
Indian customs chief arrested
02 Apr 01 |  South Asia
Tax blitz hits cricket stars
21 Jul 00 |  South Asia
Heads roll in India bribery scandal
14 Mar 01 |  South Asia


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