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Rs 100 crore black money trail unearthed in tax raids at Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Kolkata

Representational image. IT Department during its raid in Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Gurugram and Kolkata unearthed black money transactions exceeding Rs 100 crore

The Income Tax Department has unearthed black money transactions exceeding Rs 100 crore in a search and seizure operation carried out on business premises at Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Gurugram and Kolkata belonging to big business groups in Jharkhand.

During the search, undisclosed cash exceeding Rs 2 crore has also been seized. A total of 16 bank lockers have been put under restraint.

A search and seizure action was carried out by the Income Tax Department on a few business groups engaged in coal trading, execution of civil contracts, extraction of iron ore and production of sponge iron on Nov 4, according to a statement issued by the Income Tax Department today.

The other cities in which the tax raids were carried out were Godda, Bermo, Dumka, Chaibasa and Patna.  Gurugram, and Kolkata.

Those searched include “two politically exposed persons and their associates” and a total of 50 premises were covered in the tax raid, the official statement said.

The search operation has led to the seizure of a large number of incriminating documents and digital evidence. A preliminary analysis of the evidence indicates that these groups have resorted to various modus-operandi of tax evasion including inflation of expenses, transactions of loans in cash, payments/receipts in cash and suppression of production. During the search, it has also been found that investments have been made in immovable properties, the source of which could not be fully explained.

The search operation also revealed that one of the groups engaged in civil contracts was not maintaining regular books of account. The group has been inflating its expenses by entering into non-genuine transactions of purchase of raw material/ sub-contract expenses in lumpsum at the fag end of the year. Evidence seized also suggests that unfair payments in cash have been made to secure contracts.

In the case of the other group engaged in coal trading/ extraction of iron ore etc, unaccounted stock of iron ore of huge value has been found, which is yet to be quantified. The group has also introduced its unaccounted money in the form of unsecured loans and share capital by layering the transactions through shell companies. Professionals associated with this group have admitted that they had not verified any supporting documents and had signed the audit report prepared by the group’s accountant without due diligence, according to the Income Tax Department.

Further investigations are in progress the amount of unaccounted money could go up.