Picture for representation
Picture for representation

Chennai: In yet another major crackdown, the Income Tax Department has unearthed evidence of concealment of income to the tune of Rs 700 crore during searches conducted on a Chennai-based industrial group.

“A large number of lockers belonging to the group have been identified, which will be operated in due course. As of now, the Department has succeeded in detecting evasion of income of over Rs. 700 crore,” Surabhi Ahluwalia, Commissioner of Income Tax (Media and Technical Policy) said on Tuesday.

The Income Tax Department had carried out search and seizure operations on December 9 on premises of the leading business group operating from Chennai, “based on intelligence input about tax evasion.” The searches covered 60 premises located in Chennai, Tiruchi, Coimbatore, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Mumbai. The business activities include cement manufacturing, logistics, construction, among others.

“The highlight of the search includes seizure of unaccounted cash of Rs 23 crore from various locations. Foreign assets to the extent of Rs 110 crore in the form of Fixed Deposits have been found during the search, which were not disclosed in the return, and will attract action under the Black Money Act,” Ahluwalia said.

Inflation of expenditure to take out cash and also to reduce profits, receipts not accounted fully, bogus claim of depreciation etc. amounting to Rs 435 crore were also identified. “There are indications of capitation fee receipts for medical admissions to postgraduate programmes,” the officer added.

During the search, details of the actual financial transaction between the searched group and another group for the sale of three infrastructure facilities at various ports were found. “Complex financial arrangements creating bogus liabilities from their own concerns were also seen to be made, ostensibly, to reduce the capital gains arising out of this transfer. Capital gains amounting to approximately Rs 280 crore have been arrived at. Similarly, huge capital introduction through a web of bogus inter corporate transactions within the group is also under the scanner,” the officer said.

The search has been “temporarily concluded” but investigations are still in progress.

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