The Income Tax (IT) department conducted multi-state searches at 45 locations of prominent alcohol beverage maker and distributor Som Group for alleged tax evasion, "benami" directors in the group companies and infusion of foreign funds.
The searches took place in the background of Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and other states. The Som Group is reported to be close to certain politicians in M.P. and Chhattisgarh.
The taxmen raided and searched premises of Som Distilleries and Breweries at Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mumbai, Delhi and Karnataka including the promoter Jagdish Arora residences for tax evasion and infusion of foreign funds into the group. The IT sleuths are probing alleged "benami" directors in the group companies to divert funds and evade taxes.
Som Group with major business interests in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh is a key player in manufacturing, bottling and distribution of liquor in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The group is considered to be the biggest player in the liquor business in Central India. Earlier in April, Som Group had announced plans to invest around ₹300 crore in a new unit in Maharashtra.
Som Distilleries and Breweries is a leading manufacturer of beer, whisky, vodka, rum, gin, ready-to-drink beverages, and country liquor.