‘Transactions of Rs 1,050 Took Place’: IT Dept Alleges Syndicate in Maharashtra
As many as 25 houses and 15 commercial spaces were searched, while four offices were surveyed.
The Income Tax Department began a ‘search operation’ from 23 September on a large syndicate involving business persons/middlemen and government officials. The raids were carried out on the basis of intelligence developed over six months.
As many as 25 houses and 15 commercial spaces were searched, while four offices were surveyed. Some suites of the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai, which were rented by two of the middlemen for meetings with clients were also searched.
The syndicate used several code names in their records. The IT Department found that total transactions amounted to nearly Rs 1,050 crore.
These middlemen provided end-to-end services to “corporates and entrepreneurs” from allotment of land to obtaining all government clearances.
The IT Department has further recovered digital data from it as evidence, despite the use of encrypted modes of communication and tools to conduct its transactions. Moreover, in this entire case, angadias were also used by the liaisons for cash transactions.
Angadias are people who act as a parallel banking system for providing money transfer services to business persons in India, and use their expertise in transferring money from one city to another.
During the search, Rs 150 lakh were seized from one such angadiya.
Each person involved in the syndicate has done transactions of about Rs 200 crore, as per the documents recovered that included a summary of the total cash generated and disbursed.
“Key areas of generation of this money has been found to be cash paid by bureaucrats for getting key postings under a certain Ministry, cash paid by the contractors for getting payments released etc,” a press release by the department read.
What’s more, a business person/middleman has earned a huge unaccounted income by buying land from farmers and transferring it to government undertakings and big corporates. Several senior officials and their relatives have been found investing in these schemes.
Date-wise transactions of cash deposits of about Rs 27 crore and cash payments of Rs 40 crore have been found in the evidence.
For certain payments made to various people and amounting to about Rs 23 crore, code names have been used.
The middlemen were bribed by various business persons and industrialists to get land under schemes of government undertakings, extension of tender or mining contracts, among other services.
So far, cash of more than Rs 4.6 crore and jewellery valued at Rs 3.42 crore have been seized, while four lockers found in the search have been put under restraint.
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