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IT Dept detects unaccounted transactions of Rs 400 cr after raids on ‘pan masala’ group


New Delhi, July 30

The Income Tax Department has detected unaccounted transactions of more than Rs 400 crore after it raided a north India-based ‘pan masala’ manufacturing group, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said Friday.

It said the searches were carried out Thursday on 31 premises—Kanpur, Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Kolkata—of the group, also involved in the real estate business.

“Preliminary figures indicate unaccounted transactions exceeding Rs 400 crore,” the CBDT said in a statement, without identifying the group.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes frames policy for the IT Department.

“The group has been earning huge amounts through unaccounted sale of pan masala and through unaccounted real estate business.”

“This unaccounted income was laundered back into the concerns through a vast link of shell companies,” it claimed.

The department also found over Rs 52 lakh cash and 7 kg gold during the raids, it said.

It said the action led to the detection of “nation-wide network of paper companies” in which the directors where people of “no financial means”.

“Surprisingly, these companies advanced so-called loans and advances to the real estate group amounting to Rs 226 crore in just three years.” “A network of 115 such shell companies has been found,” the statement claimed.

During the raids, the tax teams “discovered secret hideouts where troves of documents containing details of unaccounted money and their process of laundering have been unearthed.”

The team uncovered the complete modus operandi including the role of ‘cash handlers’ and their details, the CBDT said.

Their modus operandi is similar with respect to the business of pan masala, and the accused group is alleged to have laundered back their unaccounted income through an extensive network of shell companies. “Unaccounted loans and premia received from such paper companies, exceeding Rs 110 crore in three years, have been detected.”

“The group ploughed back their unaccounted money through such shell companies by showing bogus advances against property sale, bogus loans and share premia,” it alleged.

It said 24 “bogus” bank accounts of shell companies have been found during the action.

“Deductions claimed under the Income-tax Act with respect to treatment of biodegradable waste are under detailed scrutiny.”

“It has been found that through some of these paper companies based in Kolkata, bogus sale and purchase of manure has been shown, amounting to Rs 80 crore so that cash can be deposited into bank accounts,” the statement said. — PTI

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