Saturday, 3 December 2016

I-T dept finds unaccounted income worth Rs 152 crore after raids in Bengaluru, Chennai & Erode

Total admission of unaccounted income by the group stands at Rs 152 crore, said the Income Tax department. 

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The biggest-ever seizure of cash in new currency on Friday grew to over Rs 5 crore even as the Income Tax department said it detected unaccounted income worth Rs 152 crore after it conducted searches in a dozen premises in Bengaluru and other locations.

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I-T officials said the cash found, after searches were launched on Friday on the premises of two engineers, working with the state government, and two contractors has risen to Rs 5.7 crore and these notes are in the denomination of the newly introduced currency of Rs 2000.

"Total admission of unaccounted income by the group stands at Rs 152 crore. Investigations are on," they said.

They added the department also recovered 7 kg bullion and jewellery weighing 9 kg, worth Rs 5 crore, after these operations.
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"About 90 lakh has been found in the old demonestized currency. In addition, several property documents were also found and seized," they said.

Meanwhile, two senior Karnataka government officials have been suspended. Bowing to the Opposition demand in the Karnataka Legislative Council, now in session here, Home Minister G Parameshwara announced the action against senior engineers T N Chikkarayappa and S C Jayachandra who had come on the radar of tax sleuths along with two contractors.

Chikkarayappa is Managing Director of Cauvery Neeravari Nigama (irrigation corporation) and Jayachandra, Chief Project Officer of the State Highway Development Project.

The government would decide on the next step after a probe and getting information from the IT Department, Parameshwara said, adding, none would be protected and the guilty would be punished according to law.

A team of over 50 I-T sleuths and police personnel had launched operations and searched premises in Bengaluru, Chennai and Erode (Tamil Nadu).

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body of the tax department, had said in a statement here yesterday that: "the new notes and bullion are learnt to have been obtained by exchange of demonetised notes by payment of commission of an engineer and a contractor." The tax sleuths had also seized some notes of Rs 100, demonetized notes of Rs 500 and a few gold biscuits during the operation, they said, adding the department had to call in note counting machines and additional staff to ascertain the value of the cash.

What had surprised the tax authorities is the sheer amount of new currency stashed by these individuals at a time when new notes are not available to the common public which is queueing up to withdraw even small amounts from their accounts.

"Rs 5.7 crore is the highest seizure of the new currency in the country post the currency ban on November 8. Some entry operators and bankers are under the scanner. Such volume of new currency cannot be obtained without connivance of bank officials," a senior I-T department official said.

The department has also found a number of identity cards of various individuals from the searched premises which could have been used to illegally change the old currency with new ones.

The taxman also found a number of luxury cars parked in these locations.

Two days back, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had seized Rs 10 lakh cash in new notes of Rs 2000 from the premises of a Kolkata-based doctor.

ED had conducted nationwide search operations yesterday at 40 locations and seized about Rs 1 crore in new notes.

Both the I-T department and the ED, along with other enforcement agencies and police, are undertaking these operations after reports of instances of illegal exchange of old currency and stashing of new currency notes to perpetrate hawala and money laundering like activities.

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