New Delhi : In a massive sweep on premises of business group with interests in mining, hospitality, news media, liquor and real estate in Uttar Pradesh, the Income Tax (I-T) department has found trails of unaccounted transactions in excess of Rs 200 crore.
In a press release, the Department said that the group devised a complex strategy of earning huge unaccounted income through the creation of sophisticated financial layers of dubious and bogus entities spread across multiple states, to route this unaccounted money back into the main businesses without paying any taxes.
“The total amount of such unaccounted layering through bogus entities exceeds Rs 170 crore while the total unaccounted transactions exceed Rs 200 crore,” said the official press release.
The Income Tax authorities had carried out the search operation on July 22 covering premises in Lucknow, Basti, Varanasi, Jaunpur and Kolkata. Cash of more than Rs 3 crore was seized and as many as 16 lockers placed under restraint.
The department claimed that the evidence found during searches establishes that the group has been earning huge outside-the-books income through mining, processing and sales in liquor, flour business, real estate etc. Unaccounted income emanating out of these transactions has been found exceeding Rs 90 crore as per preliminary estimates.
“This income has been brought back into the books through a network of shell companies and other bogus entities without paying any taxes, thereby creating a charade that the money has been accounted for,” the tax department said.
Without naming the group, the department said that more than 15 companies incorporated at Kolkata and other places were found to be non-existent. Further, share premia of over Rs 30 crore were collected by these shell companies through other similar entities or through individuals of no means.
“Searches have also established that individuals as well as shell entities were used by the group to launder huge funds amounting to more than Rs 40 crore, showing them as loans obtained by media companies. Taxation profiling of such shell entities who have provided ‘loans’ indicates that they neither possess the financial ability nor had any economic rationale for advancing such ‘loans’. These persons and entities were found to be closely related to the final beneficiaries,” said the I-T department.