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Income tax raids premises of contractors; detects tax evasion of Rs 200 crore

The contractors were allegedly routing their unaccounted money through international hawala transactions to certain foreign jurisdictions and also indulging in purchase of benami properties, said a senior officer of the Ministry of Finance here on Thursday.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Income Tax officials conducted a series of raids at 35 places belonging to certain contractors working for Brihanmumumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seizing assets worth Rs 3.5 crore and documents of three dozen immovable properties of about Rs 130 crore.

The accused persons had reportedly evaded income tax to the tune of Rs 200 crores.

The contractors were allegedly routing their unaccounted money through international hawala transactions to certain foreign jurisdictions and also indulging in purchase of benami properties, said a senior officer of the Ministry of Finance here on Thursday.

According to IT officials, the seized documents revealed that the accused contractors were engaged in large-scale suppression of taxable income by inflating their expenses. “For this purpose, the prominent recourse is over-invoicing of sub-contract expenses through a maze of entities and by claiming non-genuine expenses,” the IT officials said.

It has also been noticed that the accused had taken out cash and utilized it for obtaining undue favours for awarding of contracts and also for making unaccounted payments for investments in properties. The preliminary investigation indicates that these contractors have evaded income to the extent of Rs. 200 crore on account of the above malpractices, the IT officials said.

The IT officials also found evidence of their involvement in international hawala transactions and routing of the ill-gotten money to certain foreign jurisdictions. “Loose sheets and excel files with details of unaccounted cash receipts and payments aggregating to several crores have also been found and seized, which have not been recorded in the regular books of account,” the Ministry said.

During search operations, the IT officials seized numerous incriminating documents, loose sheets and digital evidence which indicated a close nexus of hawala transactions, about 3 dozen immovable properties valuing Rs 130 crore and Rs 2 crore and jewellery worth 1.5 crore.