IT search in Bhopal, Raipur on 4 advertisement companies

BHOPAL: The income tax department conducted searches at three advertisement companies and at a tent house in Bhopal and Raipur on Friday early morning. The proprietors of these companies were quite close to the powers that be and had bagged high number of tenders from the government.

As many as 17 out of two dozen premises were searched in Bhopal. The companies that were raided include Vyapak Enterprises owned by Mukesh Shrivastava, Vision Force owned by Sanjay Pragat and Bhopal Glass and Tent Stores owned by Javed Ali and Mohd Ismail in Bhopal.

Several premises belonging to Ms AS Advertisers owned by Satya Narayan Agarwal in Raipur were also raided. Other persons to fall under IT net include a retired officer of Madhya Pradesh Madhyam GS Mankar whose residence was searched. Besides, residences and offices of owners of other small time advertisement firms of Rajesh Jain, Nitin Jain and Ajay Jain were searched by IT teams.

IT sources said a funding channel/chain is likely to be exposed during investigation. Mukesh’s company did all advertisement work and ran campaign of Congress party in 2018 assembly elections. He also had some big advertisement projects in Chhattisgarh during Raman Singh led BJP government.

Cash of more than Rs 1 crore was found during search operations from these locations. IT sources said several incriminating documents including computer hard disks, bank accounts and jewellery are being scanned to trace tax evasion.

IT officials have hinted that transactions of past 10 years of these companies will be scanned. The move is expected to bring some more people or companies in its ambit.

According to sources, Ad Company of Jains had bagged works of more than Rs 100 crore from state government agency. However, the payments made to the bank accounts of Jains were finally transferred to accounts of Mukesh Shrivastava. It is said that these funds were later transferred through hawala channels to political leaders.

In Bhopal, office of Mukesh Shrivastava in Malviya Nagar and residence in Govindpura were searched. Office premises belonging to Vision Force Company in MP Nagar and Mansarovar Complex and residence of Sanjay Pragat in Nehru Nagar were also searched by IT teams. House and office of Javed Mian, owner of Bhopal Glass and Tent Stores at Itwara Road and at Hindi Bhawan, were searched. Some premises of people attached directly with these companies were also searched.

More than 150 officials from income tax department and police personnel were pressed into search operations in Bhopal and Raipur. According to IT sources, these companies bagged high value tenders from government, got payment in crores but showed nominal income from those works by showing bogus expenses.

Covid protocol, some dressed in PPE Kits

All IT teams were well equipped to follow corona guidelines. They were wearing face shields and carried bottle of sanitisers. Some IT officials wore PPE Kit to deal with emergency. Some places were sanitized during search operations.

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