Rs 77 Cr Found From Film Financier as I-T Officials Question Vijay
Vijay was shooting for upcoming film ‘Master’
Unaccounted cash worth Rs 77 crore has been recovered following I-T raids on film financier Anbu Chezhiyan’s properties. The raids also continue at Tamil star Vijay's residences in Saligramam and Panaiyur in Chennai. According to an NDTV report, the actor’s residence was raided after an investigation revealed unaccounted transactions between him and Chezhiyan. The shooting for his film Master was put on hold after officials reached the set for questioning.
I-T officials have been involved in searches in properties related to movie financier Anbu Chezhiyan since Wednesday, 5 February. They have also conducted searches in over 20 locations related to the AGS Group, which includes AGS Cinemas and AGS Entertainment, which produced Vijay’s 2019 film Bigil.
Following the raids, the I-T department released a statement saying that Rs 77 crore of unaccounted cash has been seized from hideouts in Chennai and Madurai purportedly belonging to financier Anbu Chezhian. A large number of documents, promissory notes and post-dated cheques taken as collateral security were recovered during the search and have been seized. Officials raided 38 premises of the AGS group across Chennai and Madurai. It is estimated that the concealment in this case is likely to exceed Rs 300 crore.
I-T Officials Question Vijay Over ‘Bigil’ Earnings
According to sources, the actor, who has been shooting in Neyveli for his upcoming flick since 1 February, was issued summons.
Visuals have emerged of the shooting spot in Cuddalore district where filming was brought to an abrupt halt as officials reached the set. The summons were reportedly issued over the income raked in by the actor following the success of the sports drama Bigil. I-T sources told The News Minute that the questioning of the actor relates to his salary for the movie as well as the profits garnered by Bigil. Questioning is expected to continue at his ECR residence on Wednesday evening as he arrives in Chennai.
Vijay’s last two films before ‘Bigil - Mersal’ and ‘Sarkar’ - also ran into controversy.
While Mersal was directed by Atlee, who also directed him in Bigil, Sarkar was directed by AR Murugadoss. Mersal took potshots at GST, demonetisation and Digital India, upsetting the BJP in Tamil Nadu. The party, in turn, accused Vijay of being anti-BJP because he's Christian. The BJP's H Raja tweeted Vijay's Voter ID which has his full name Joseph Vijay, claiming that this was why he was attacking the Centre. The BJP also took exception to the fact that Mersal has a scene where Vijay's character says a hospital should be built in place of a temple.
‘Sarkar’ was regarded as Vijay’s loudest statement yet about his entry into state politics.
The film took on the AIADMK in the state - from distributing freebies to having a female antagonist closely resembling Jayalalithaa and Sasikala. Following objections, the film underwent certain cuts and some dialogues were muted.
The I-T Department carried out searches at Vijay’s residence in September 2015 as well ahead of the release of his film Puli. At the time, searches were also carried out in properties belonging to his co-actors Nayanthara and Samantha.
Have Offered Full Co-Operation: Vijay on Tax Raids
Following the raids then, Vijay had released a statement denying reports of alleged tax evasion.
"They raided my office and home last week to probe whether I have evaded tax or not. My family and staff offered full cooperation to the officials and presented all the documents of my income tax returns with evidence," Vijay had said in October 2015, adding, "I have been religiously paying income tax, wealth tax and professional tax on all my assets and income till this very financial year."
(This has been produced in arrangement with The News Minute)
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