Nellore: The income-tax department continued searches at the Kalki Ashram at Battalavallam and other campuses in Varadaiahpalem in Chittoor district on Friday.
The raids were conducted following Intelligence reports that the Wellness Group, run by Krishna, son of Kalki Bhagwan, and an offshoot of the Kalki Ashram, has been suppressing its receipts at its various centres. The money is then ploughed into investments in land in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and in investments abroad.
The Wellness Group is a conglomerate of trusts and companies that run year-round “wellness courses” and training programmes in philosophy, spirituality, etc at various sprawling residential campuses in Varadaiahpalem in Andhra Pradesh, and in Chennai and Bengaluru.
Foreign currency and substantial quantities of undisclosed gold in the form of jewellery, about 88 kg approximately, valued at over Rs 26 crore, has been found during the searches.
Undisclosed diamonds weighing 1,271 carats valued approximately at about Rs 5 crore were found and seized.
The total value of the seizure so far is approximately Rs 93 crore. The undisclosed income of the group detected so far is estimated at more than Rs 500 crore. The searches are still in progress.
The department has been carrying out searches in about 40 premises of the Wellness Group located in Che-nnai, Hyderabad, Benga-luru and Varadaiah-palem.
According to a press release of the I-T department, proof has been found during the search that the group has been regularly suppressing its receipts at its various centres or ashrams, and has therefore not revealed its actual income.
Evidence has been found with key employees who maintained records of cash collections that were kept outside the official accounts, and used to make investments elsewhere and also for paying for properties.
It is learnt that the group earned unaccounted income from cash it received for property sold at over and above the documented value. A preliminary estimate of such unaccounted cash receipts is Rs 409 crore from the financial year 2014-15 onwards.
Cash and other valuables were found at the residences of the group’s founder Kalki Bhagwan and his son, Krishna, and at one of the campuses. Cash totalling Rs 43.9 crore has been seized. In addition to this, $2.5 million (approximately Rs 18 crore) in foreign currency was seized from the residences.