The Income Tax Department on Wednesday claimed to have detected undisclosed income of about Rs 400 crore after it raided some entities based in poll-bound Tamil Nadu who handle "huge" cash and have offshore links.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which frames policy for the tax department, said in a statement that the raids were carried out on March 11 at 20 locations in Chennai, Coimbatore, Salem, Virudhunagar and Theni.
The department also seized an "unaccounted" cash of Rs 50 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 3 crore and nine luxury vehicles worth Rs 12.5 crore after the searches on a "group of individuals who are involved in handling huge amount of cash and routing unaccounted money through foreign entities and bank accounts of their related concerns".
"The evidences found in the searched premises revealed that cash deposits of more than Rs 100 crore were made through various entities in the guise of sale and purchase of agricultural commodities, whereas no such activity exists and no stock was found.
"The sale and purchase invoices were found to be fabricated by their employees," the CBDT claimed.
Sales and stock were circulated among group entities to manipulate the turnover to obtain bank loans, it said.
"Many of these entities had not filed any tax return so far. While Rs 150 crore was received by a group entity through a debenture issue from a foreign entity, the evidences found during the search revealed that this was a sham transaction and all the money went to the personal accounts of these individuals," the CBDT claimed.
It said the entities also had imported spices wherein they over-invoiced the import cost to about Rs 25 crore.
"To this extent, money was siphoned-off from India and diverted to their personal accounts in other countries.
During the search, evidence was also found, which showed that numerous immovable properties have been purchased in the last 3-4 years in the prime locations of Chennai and other towns of Tamil Nadu at a value even lesser than circle rates," the CBDT alleged.
Many of these properties were also not disclosed in the tax returns.
"More than 25 luxury cars were found during the search, and many were unaccounted. Evidence has also been found of the existence of undisclosed foreign bank accounts, foreign credit cards and investments in foreign entities," the statement said.
The searches, it said, have resulted in the detection of undisclosed income of around Rs 400 crore till now and relevant investigations under the Anti-Blackmoney Act will also be carried out.
Tamil Nadu will witness a single phase voting on April 6.