I-T Dept raids Maha-based unicorn, unearths Rs 224 cr black money

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The Income Tax Department on Sunday said that it has conducted a search and seizure operation on a Pune and Thane based unicorn, and has found evidence of undisclosed income of Rs 224 crore.

The I-T department found evidences of foreign funding and a hawala network of Mumbai and Thane based shell companies.

It has so far seized Rs 1 crore cash and jewellery worth Rs 22 lakh in the raid.

The group is primarily engaged in the business of wholesale and retail of construction material and has pan India presence having annual turnover exceeding Rs 6,000 crore.

A total of 23 premises were covered in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, in the search operation.

A large number of incriminating evidences in the form of hard copy documents and digital data were found which were later seized by the IT team during the search operation.

These evidences revealed that the group has booked bogus purchases, made huge unaccounted cash expenditure and obtained accommodation entries, aggregating to the tune of over Rs 400 crore.

These evidences were confronted to the Directors of the group, who admitted under oath this modus operandi, disclosed additional income of more than Rs 224 crore in various assessment years, and consequently offered to pay their due tax liability.

The search action also revealed that the group had obtained huge foreign funding via Mauritius route, by issuing shares at exorbitantly high premium.

During the search operation, a complex hawala network of some Mumbai and Thane based shell companies, was also unearthed. These shell companies exist on paper, and were created only for the purpose of providing accommodation entries. Preliminary analysis has revealed that the total quantum of accommodation entries provided by these shell entities exceeds Rs 1,500 crore.

Further investigations in the matter is underway.

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