Rs 200 crore black money trail detected in tax raids on Tamil Nadu film industry


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The Income Tax Department has detected undisclosed income exceeding Rs 200 crore in a search and seizure operation against certain producers, distributors, and financiers associated with the film Industry in Tamil Nadu, according to an official statement released on Saturday. 

Undisclosed cash to the tune of Rs 26 crore and unaccounted gold jewellery exceeding Rs. 3 crore have been seized in the operation, the Income Tax Department said.

The tax raids were carried out on August 2 at almost 40 premises located in Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore and Vellore.

During the course of the search operations, several incriminating documents and digital evidence etc., relating to unaccounted cash transactions and investments have been seized. Secret and hidden premises have also been unearthed during the search.

The Income Tax Department searched offices and premises belonging to leading film financier and producer G.N. Anbu Chezhian, who runs Gopuram Films and Productions and Gopuram Cinemas Pvt. Ltd.

The officials also searched producer and distributor Kalaipuli S. Thanu, S.R. Prabhu of Dream Warrior Pictures, Producer K.E. Gananvel Raja and Sathya Jyothi Thyagarajan.

The searches in the cases of film financiers have revealed documents like promissory notes etc., relating to unaccounted cash loans, which were advanced to various film production houses and others. In the cases of film production houses, evidence reveals tax evasion, as the actual amounts realized from the release of the films are much more than the amounts shown in the regular books of account. The unaccounted income so generated by them is deployed for undisclosed investments as well as for various undisclosed payments.

Similarly, evidence seized in the cases of film distributors, indicate collection of unaccounted cash from the theatres. As per the evidence, the distributors have formed syndicates and have systematically suppressed the theatre collections, resulting in the suppression of actual income.

Further investigations are in progress.