Income Tax Dept. detects over Rs 400 crore in black money in raid on Mumbai real estate group. (File Photo)
The Income Tax Department has unearthed black money to the tune of Rs 400 crore in a search and seizure operation on a real estate group in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai Region, according to a finance ministry statement.
Income Tax officials swooped down on 30 premises of the real estate group, which is engaged in the construction of residential and commercial projects, on Nov 25. The group is mainly engaged in the development of slum rehabilitation projects.
Several documents and digital evidence seized during the search show receipt of cash to the tune of Rs 100 crore, as part of consideration on sale of flats, which is not accounted for in the regular books of account of the company, the official statement said.
The assessee group also did not deduct tax at source on certain payments claimed by it which aggregate to more than Rs 300 crore. As a result of the search action, unaccounted cash exceeding Rs 6 crore has also been seized, the statement added.
The search action unearthed various methods of tax evasion adopted by the group.
The fact of receipt of hard cash on such transactions is also corroborated in the statements recorded during the search proceedings. The modus operandi adopted by the group includes issuing of promissory notes equivalent to the on- money component to the customers and these promissory notes are destroyed after registration of the flat.
Incriminating evidence has also been found regarding unaccounted cash payments made not only to the original tenants of the slums for vacating the dwelling unit but also to some other persons for facilitating vacation of the properties by slum dwellers.
Further evidence suggesting irregularities and violation of guidelines of Slum Rehabilitation Authority have also been detected.
The preliminary analysis of evidence revealed that the group has acquired a controlling stake in a company by paying consideration in cash. Defaults on compliances to the provisions of tax deduction at source have also been found.
Further investigations in the case are still in progress.