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I-T detects Rs 2,000 crore of unaccounted income in searches at Andhra infra groups

I-T detects Rs 2,000 crore of unaccounted income in searches at Andhra infra groups

New Delhi: The Income Tax department on Thursday said that it had detected unaccounted income of over Rs 2,000 crore in a recent search and seizure operation conducted at the premises of three prominent infrastructure groups in Andhra Pradesh and Telanga.

The raids were conducted on February 6, and I-T officials said that more than 40 locations were searched spread across Hyderabad, Vijaywada, Cuddapah, Vishakhapatnam, Delhi and Pune. The tax office has alleged that these companies were involved in a "racket of cash generation through bogus sub-contractors, over invoicing and bogus billing".

Officials here added that several incriminating documents and loose sheets of paper were recovered from the searches and duly seized along with email communication, WhatsApp messages. They said that unexplained foreign transactions were also allegedly unearthed during the raids. The raids also resulted in the seizure of unexplained cash of Rs 85 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 71 lakh, with more than 25 bank lockers having been restrained.

The searches were also conducted at the premises of former Andhra Pradesh CM Chanderbabu Naidu's ex-personal secretary P Srinivasa Rao. I-T officials said that these infrastructure companies had sub-contracted work to several "non-existent/bogus entities" and preliminary investigations showed that more than Rs 2,000 crore was allegedly siphoned off through transactions that were layered through multiple entities with the last in a chain of small entities with a turnover of less than Rs 2 crore to "avoid maintenance of accounts books and tax audits.

Officials said that many of these sub-contractors were purportedly controlled by the principal contractors with all their Income Tax Returns filings and other compliances being completed from the IP addresses registered to the main corporate office. They added that one of the three infrastructure companies had FDI receipts of

several crores in its group companies and "is suspected to be round-tripping its unaccounted funds".

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