Hyderabad: Income-tax officials suspect that businessman Banapuram Laxman Rao had the intention of money laundering with hawala operators.
I-T officials are questioning Mr Laxman Rao, who had declared Rs 9,800 crore under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) but failed to pay the first instalment of Rs 980 crore by November 30.
Sources said that Mr Laxman Rao revealed four names — his chartered accountant Laxmi-narayana, Shoukat Ali alias “Barkas Baba”, Ramu and K.V. Rao — who he said forced him to submit the declaration in two sets.
I-T officials are questioning all the four and holding simultaneous raids at their houses and offices. So far, they have identified Mr Shoukat Ali as the kingpin behind the declaration. What the intention behind the declaration was is yet to be known.
An I-T official said that Mr Laxman Rao had no other property except the house located on Plot No. 47, Road No. 8 in Filmnagar. As per records, he purchased the land in 2007 and officials are estimating the then market value and the government value of the land. So far, he has not explained the source of income in purchasing the 1,000 sq. land and constructing a two-storey building in the posh area.
Revealing a few leads in their preliminary investigation, an official said, “We came to the conclusion that money laundering is behind the declaration. We are questioning four others and focusing on hawala links. Two persons including the Baba may have links with hawala and hundi rackets. We have already informed the facts of the case to the Enforcement Directorate. They have begun a preliminary inquiry and we are expecting they will register an FIR in a day or two,” the official said.
Only house mortgaged with banks
As per the records available with the stamps and registration department, Bana-puram Laxman Rao had purchased an open plot (number 47) in Filmnagar Road No. 8 in 2007 from one K. Narasimha Reddy.
The plot was registered on the name of B. Laxman Rao and his family. The market value of the plot was about `10 crore at that time and the government value Rs 5 crore.
The entire plot including the two-storey building are mortgaged with Life Insurance Corporation of India and South Indian Bank.
Laxman Rao borrowed about Rs 3.6 crore each from South India Bank in 2015 and Life Insurance Corporation of India.
Income-tax officials have identified only the Filmnagar house as Laxman Rao’s property....