The Income Tax Department detected unaccounted income of about Rs 184 crore after it recently raided two real estate business groups of Mumbai and some family members of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, sources said on Friday.
The searches were launched on October 7 at 70 premises in Mumbai, Pune, Baramati, Goa and Jaipur, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy making body for the tax department, said in a statement. "The evidence gathered during the search has revealed several prima-facie unaccounted and benami transactions," it said.
"Incriminating documents, evidencing unaccounted income of about Rs 184 crore of the two groups have been found," the statement said without naming the entities involved. Pawar had told the media on the day of the raids that the tax searches were also carried out at the premises of his three sisters, one living in Kolhapur district and two in Pune district of Maharashtra.
The CBDT said unaccounted cash of Rs 2.13 crore and jewellery of Rs 4.32 crore were seized during the operation. "The search action has led to identification of transactions by these business groups with a web of companies which, prima facie, appear to be suspicious," it said.
The CBDT claimed that a "preliminary analysis of the flow of funds indicates that there has been an introduction of unaccounted funds in the group by way of various dubious methods like introduction of bogus share premium, suspicious unsecured loans, receipt of unsubstantiated advance for certain services, collusive arbitration deals out of non-existent disputes, etc".
The statement said the department has "observed that such suspicious flow of funds has taken place with the involvement of an influential family of Maharashtra". "The funds, so introduced in a dubious manner, have been utilised for acquisition of various assets such as office building at a prime locality in Mumbai, flat in posh locality in Delhi, resort in Goa, agricultural lands in Maharashtra and investments in sugar mills," it said.
"The book value of these assets aggregates to about Rs. 170 crore," it said.
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