Hyderabad: Income-Tax officials on Friday raided Arka Mediaworks, the Banjara Hills office of Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni, producers of the superhit film Baahubali.
As per sources, the raids were conducted by a team of I-T officials in around 30 locations related to the two producers including at their houses and the houses of some of their relatives in Telangana and locations in Andhra Pradesh. Raids were also conducted at the house of one of the distributors of the movie’ s first part.
The raids were in relation to reports of huge movement of unaccounted for cash of up to Rs 60 crore. Key documents were seized from the office of the producers.
Following the demonetisation of high value currency notes, there have been reports of people possessing black money – most of which is in old currency notes – trying various ways to invest their cash without getting caught.
Baahubali, directed by S.S. Rajamouli, became a huge success, collecting close to Rs 650 crore. The second part of the movie is slated to release by April next year. The production cost for both parts is around Rs 250 crore.
A Tollywood producer, on condition of anonymity, said, “The Telugu film industry had always been under the I-Tradar but no one expected this kind of a surprise raid.”
The selling of rights for Baahubali-2 is huge. As per a source, the Nizam area rights were sold for Rs 50 crore to Mr Sunil Narang of Global Cinema. Other areas also did roaring business, double of Baahubali-1.
The source added, “Apart from the huge business of the second part, the producers are minting money from part-1 of the movie. The television rights were sold for a big amount. It seems the I-T officials want to check those accounts.”
The source, meanwhile, said, “There may be more raids coming on key persons in Tollywood, especially those who distributed the first part of the movie and earned huge profits.”
The first part of the film for Nizam area was brought by producer Dil Raju, the film grossed around Rs 45 crore there. It was reported that in many areas the tickets had sold for Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 on the first day....