Income Tax department detects Rs 224 cr undisclosed income after raids on Infra.Market

PTIUpdated: Sunday, March 20, 2022, 08:54 PM IST
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The searches were launched on March 9 at the firm's 23 premises in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh./ Representative image | File

The Income Tax department has detected ''undisclosed'' income of more than Rs 224 crore after it recently raided Maharashtra-based unicorn start-up Infra.Market, officials said on Sunday.

The searches were launched on March 9 at the firm's 23 premises in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

The CBDT said the group, founded by Souvik Sengupta and Aaditya Sharda in 2016, is ''engaged in wholesale and retail (business) of construction materials and has a pan-India presence with an annual turnover exceeding Rs 6,000 crore.'' The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is the policy-making body for the I-T department.

Officials identified the searched entity as the Infra.Market group.

An email sent by PTI seeking the company's response remained unanswered. The construction materials marketplace had in August last year said that it had raised $125 million (about Rs 928.1 crore) in funding from Tiger Global.

The company has been identified as a unicorn, a financial term for a business entity that has achieved a valuation of over $1 billion.

The CBDT said ''unaccounted'' cash worth Rs 1 crore and jewellery worth Rs 22 lakh have been seized till now.

The CBDT statement said it was found that the group has booked ''bogus'' purchases, made huge unaccounted cash expenditure and obtained accommodation entries, aggregating to the tune of over Rs 400 crore.

The directors of the group, who were confronted with these evidences, ''admitted under oath this modus operandi, disclosed additional income of more than Rs 224 crore in various assessment years, and consequently offered to pay their due tax liability,'' the CBDT claimed.

It was found that the group obtained huge foreign funding via the Mauritius route by issuing shares at an ''exorbitantly'' high premium.

A ''complex'' hawala network of some shell companies based in Mumbai and Thane was also unearthed, the CBDT said.

''These shell companies exist on paper and were created only for the purpose of providing accommodation (bogus) entries. Preliminary analysis has revealed that the total quantum of accommodation entries provided by these shell entities exceeds Rs 1,500 crore,'' it said.

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