Kanpur businessman Piyush Jain was sent to 14 days of judicial custody on Monday, 27 December for evasion of tax in what is the biggest cash seizure by officials of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
The Ahmedabad unit of Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) conducted raids at Jain's Kanpur residence and other premises, including factories linked to him across Kanpur and Kannauj and found cash worth Rs 196 crore, gold and other precious items.
The GST intelligence unit was on the trail for the manufacturers of Shikhar Pan Masala for tax evasion, but the investigation led them towards Jain's Odochem industries that supplies perfumery compounds to the gutkha manufacturing units.
On Tuesday, in view of the raid, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cast aspersions at the Samajwadi Party and said that the "perfume of corruption that they had sprinkled all over Uttar Pradesh is for everyone to see."
However, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav denied any links between the party and Piyush Jain.
"By mistake, the BJP got its own businessman raided. Instead of Samajwadi Party leader Pushpraj Jain, it got Piyush Jain raided."
Besides being at the centre of this political war of words between the BJP and the SP, what else do we know about Piyush Jain? And who is the owner of Shikhar Pan Masala?
Who is Piyush Jain?
The businessman is a resident of Anandpuri in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur, and belongs to Chhipatti in Kannauj.
Owner of factories, cold stores, and petrol pumps, among other establishments, the businessman has around 40 companies, including two in the Middle East.
Jain learned the art of making perfumes from his father, who works as a chemist, and began his business in Kanpur, according to an NDTV report.
He reportedly spent the last 15 years expanding his business, and now works from Mumbai and Gujarat. In Mumbai, Jain owns a house, a head office and a showroom which sells perfumes in the country and abroad.
According to an investigation by The Quint, Piyush's elder brother Ambreesh Jain is famously known as the 'compound king' (an amalgam of chemicals found in gutkha and perfume) in Kannauj.
Both brothers bought properties as the business grew, despite hardly owning any ancestral property prior to their flourishing business.
Their Kanpur residence raided by the central agency was bought 14 years ago. However, Piyush Jain visited the premises occasionally and few people were seen visiting the house.
The house, which is not equipped with any CCTV cameras, is encircled with a fence of charged barbed wire. The windows of the house, fixed with black glasses, offer no visibility inside the premises.
Who is Pradeep Agarwal, the Owner of Shikhar Pan Masala?
Owner of Shikhar Pan Masala, Agarwal is in the gutka business and resides in Delhi. He started the business 23 years ago with the title of Shikhar Gutkha Private Limited.
Shikhar Pan Masala's office is located in Nayaganj, Kanpur and the factory is in Babupurwa of the city.
On the night of 22 December, at around 8 pm, the DGGI team raided the factory of Shikhar Masala in Transport Nagar, Kanpur. Agarwal, who resides in Delhi was not interrogated at the time. However, the DGGI team acquired some documents from the premises.
(With inputs from NDTV.)