The Income Tax (I-T) Department on September 30 carried out a search and seizure operation on 37 premises spread across multiple cities including Mumbai, Pune, Noida and Bengaluru. The I-T operation was against those groups and individuals who were into varied businesses such as cable manufacturing, real estate, textile, printing machineries, hotels, logistics etc, the agency officials informed on Monday.
"During the course of the search operation, several incriminating documents, loose sheets, diaries, emails and other digital evidence etc. have been unearthed which indicates ownership of a large number of foreign bank accounts and immovable properties, unreported to the I-T Department. These groups/individuals utilized the services of a Dubai based financial service provider to create a dubious and complex web of foreign companies and trusts based in tax havens such as Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar etc. to hold their unaccounted assets," the agency claimed in a statement.
"The credits in the bank accounts of these groups and individuals maintained by the Dubai based financial service provider exceed 100 Million US Dollars (about Rs 750 crore) accumulated over a decade and were found to be parked in bank accounts in Switzerland, UAE, Malaysia and several other countries. Evidences gathered during the search operation reveal that the undisclosed funds parked abroad have been used by these groups for acquiring immovable properties in several countries such as UK, Portugal, UAE etc in the name of defunct companies incorporated abroad, with funds layered through foreign bank accounts, for meeting the personal expenses of the promoters and their family members abroad and routing back funds in their Indian entities," the statement further said.
"During the course of the search, evidence related to bogus payments to suppliers for generating cash, unaccounted cash expenditure, hawala transactions, and over-invoicing have also been gathered. Unaccounted cash and jewellery to the tune of over Rs 2 crore has been seized from the residential and business premises respectively. More than 50 bank lockers have been kept under restraint," said an I-T official.
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