Press Trust of india

I-T dept detects tax evasion worth hundreds of crores after raids on Chhattisgarh group, bureaucrat

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New Delhi:  The Income Tax department has seized “undisclosed” cash and jewellery worth Rs 14 crore and detected tax evasion of a “few hundreds of crores” after it recently raided a Chhattisgarh-based group engaged in coal transportation and linked businesses, and a senior state government officer, the CBDT said Monday.

The searches were launched on June 30 and more than 30 locations in Raipur, Bhilai, Raigarh, Korba, Bilaspur and Surajpur were covered, apart from the premises of the officer.

The CBDT said in a statement, without identifying the group, that the business entity indulged in “unfair regular collection on coal transportation throughout the state of Chhattisgarh leading to generation of huge unaccounted income”.

“Evidence of such collection of more than Rs 200 crore during a short time period has been found. The same has been corroborated by the key trusted associates of the group,” it said.

The statement added that sleuths have found “instances of certain cash payments made to government officials”.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) frames policy for the I-T department.

A senior state police official had told PTI on June 30 that the residence of Soumya Chaurasia, a deputy secretary-rank officer posted in the Chief Minister’s Office, was also searched by tax sleuths in Bhilai town of Durg district, apart from that of some businessmen.

“Undisclosed cash exceeding Rs 9.5 crore and jewellery of Rs 4.5 crore have been seized during the search operation, so far.

“A preliminary investigation of such incriminating evidence gathered during the search suggests that the group has evaded income tax running into a few hundreds of crores,” the statement said.

The CBDT said the group made “unaccounted” cash payments of about Rs 45 crore in purchasing coal washeries.

“Further, evidence has also been found which reveals that cash expenditure has been incurred by the group during the recently held elections,” it said.

During the search, the CBDT said, a large number of property agreements have been found, which reveal huge “undisclosed” investments made in acquisition of immovable properties that appear to be “benami” in nature.

“The source of investment made in acquisition of 50 acres of immovable properties, by the purported owners, related to the government officer, is under further investigation,” it said.

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