Rs 1400 crore in unaccounted wealth has been unearthed during raids carried out on premises owned by family members of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala and of Jaya TV, news agency ANI reported citing Income Tax department officials.
The I-T department conducted raids on the Sasikala clan and premises of Jaya TV, whose CEO and Managing Director Vivek Jayaraman is the nephew of the AIADMK leader, earlier last week.
In a report today, news agency PTI quoted a top tax investigation official in Chennai as saying that more than Rs 7 crore in cash and jewellery worth over Rs 5 crore was seized during the searches. As many as 15 bank lockers and diamond jewellery were kept under “prohibitory orders” under which access to them is denied, the official reportedly added.
“A lot of incriminating documents were found and prima facie we have detected undisclosed income of Rs 1,430 crore,” the unnamed official told PTI.
The PTI report also quoted another I-T official, this one in Delhi, as saying undisclosed income of around Rs 1500 crore was detected during the multi-city searches were carried out mostly in Tamil Nadu.
The Chennai-based official, responding to a question on the nature of undisclosed income, further told PTI it relates to unexplained cash and unexplained cash introduced for acquiring several businesses. The issue of shell companies was a separate matter, he said, but did not elaborate, the agency reported.
Meanwhile, tax authorities summoned Vivek Jayaraman, head of Jaya TV (Mavis Satcom Limited) for questioning following conclusion of searches in the premises of the channel, PTI reported.
On November 9, Income Tax sleuths raided 187 premises across multiple cities, mostly in Tamil Nadu.
All the premises were linked either to Sasikala, her nephew TTV Dhinakaran or Jaya TV. The raids were carried out over suspected tax evasion, news agency PTI reported then.
Some of the places raided included the residence of M Natarajan, Sasikala’s husband, in Thanjavur; the Kodanad Tea Estate belonging to late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa; Jazz Cinemas; Midas Distilleries; Sharada Paper and Boards; Senthil Group of Companies; Nilgiri Furniture in Coimbatore; and Namadhu MGR, a Tamil newspaper.
According to a PTI report from November 10, the Income Tax department raids were carried out in connection with allegations related to shell companies, dubious investments, suspicious fund flow and its transfers and fudging of accounts. The report added that the I-T officials had received inputs from the Finance Ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit.
On the day of the raids, Dhinakaran condemned the searches as a “conspiracy” and criticised the Centre. The deposed AIADMK deputy general secretary claimed the raids were part of a plot to oust him and his jailed aunt from politics.