The Income Tax Department has seized Rs 55 crore in unaccounted deposits after a raid on an ex-fund manager and chief trader of equities of a prominent mutual fund house in Mumbai along with related sharebrokers, middlemen and entry operators, according to information provided by the finance ministry today.
More than 20 bank lockers have been put under restraint and evidence of large-scale unaccounted investment in cash loans and fixed deposits, immovable properties and their renovation has also been seized, the official statement said.
The search and seizure operation was carried out on July 28 and covered more than 25 premises, spread across Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bhuj and Kolkata.
As a result of the search operation, incriminating evidence in the form of documents and digital data has also been seized.
The evidence gathered during the search including sworn statements recorded from various persons have revealed the modus operandi for evading taxes. It has been detected that the fund manager and chief trader were sharing specific trade related information with brokers/middlemen and persons located in certain foreign jurisdictions.
These persons in turn, used such information for illicit gains in the share market by trading in such scrips either in their own account or account of their clients. These persons including family members of the fund manager have admitted in their statements that the unaccounted cash generated from the above operations was routed mainly through Kolkata based shell entities into their bank accounts.
From these bank accounts, funds have been further diverted into the bank accounts of companies/entities incorporated in India and other low tax jurisdictions. The gleaning of seized evidence has exposed the nexus between the ex-fund manager, middlemen, share brokers, and entry operators.
Further investigations are still in progress.