I-T dept: Operation Parking Money' biggest among all raids

Officials said the seizure was probably the biggest so far in raids anywhere in the country.

Chennai: In one of the biggest hauls in its raids, the income tax (I-T) department has seized Rs 163 crore and over 100-kg bullion, following raids at multiple premises of SPK group, a longtime highways contractor with alleged political links, in Tamil Nadu.

The raids, code named ‘Operation Parking Money’ at the SPK group and other road and national highways contractors for alleged tax evasion, commenced early on Monday, at about 20 plus locations connected to Nagarajan Seyyadurai in the state. It had led to the huge seizure.

“About Rs 163 crore, which is suspected to be unaccounted, and bullion and gold jewellery weighing about 100 kg have been seized. The raids are still going on,” a senior official of the I-T department said. On Tuesday, an additional amount of Rs 4 crore cash was seized and some more jewellery was being tallied with records. If necessary, the jewellery might be seized as well, sources added.

The firm evaded tax by adopting measures like inflating expenses on awarding sub-contracts, labour work and on procuring bitumen and conversely projecting scaled down profits, it was alleged.

In a single BMW car alone about Rs 36 crore was found stashed away and in another luxury car, about Rs 25 crore. The searches coincided with the firm’s mobilisation of cash from different points to send it to a chosen premise in a very posh neighbourhood of Chennai.

The assessee had kept only Rs 24 lakh cash in his house and had parked the remaining cash and gold in cars at 10 different places of his employees and associates. While the main firm is engaged in civil construction work, mainly in highways and road bridges, their sister companies are into businesses like hotels and blue metal. Apart from unaccounted assets, several incriminating documents in the form of loose sheets, diaries, registers and hard discs were also seized.

Officials said the seizure was probably the biggest so far in raids anywhere in the country. The Chennai investigation wing of the I-T department is conducting the operation. The raids were carried out after the department found “evidence of suspected tax evasion by the firm and its associates.”

At present, thorough searches were being conducted in the three firms belonging to Nagarajan - SPK Spinners Private Limited, Sri Balaji Tollways Madurai, SPK and Co Expressway Private Limited.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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