Friday , March 22 2019

IT raid on Sasikala firms: Tax evasion on income of 1,430 crore detected


Closing their largest-ever search operation in Tamil Nadu, which persisted five days and enclosed the properties of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s previous aide and imprisoned AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala and her prolonged family members, Income Tax officials on this Monday said that till now, tax evasion on the income of 1,430 crore had been perceived.

“This is not the closing figure. We are still assessing more documents and the figure could vary. But we have clinched the raids and are currently scrutinising the pamphlets that our crew found through the five-day search operation at 187 places,” said a senior IT official.

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As a part of the “standard procedure”, Vivek Jayaraman, 28, the managing director of Jaya TV and the son of Sasikala’s sister-in-law J. Illavarasi, has gone to the Income Tax department’s Investigation Wing office located in Nungambakkam on this Monday evening to sign the papers related to the searches.

“Nobody was questioned now. Vivek and some other family members came to sign the papers. The AIADMK’s Karnataka entity leader Pugalendhi wanted time to look before us in response to our command,” the official told media.

In addition to the seizure of 7 crores in cash and jewels cost more than 5 crores, documents concerning to big scale immovable assets were found through the searches in Tamil Nadu, New Delhi, Puducherry, and Bengaluru. “15 bank lockers were frozen and numerous kilograms of gold and diamond jewelry that were sued to have been accounted for were retained under safe custody for assessment,” a source said. IT officials recognized dozens of shell firms and specific teams were examining the source of funds to those businesses in recent years.

“We have started the process of beckoning the persons fretful to get their statements on the evasion, properties seized or noticed. Yet the raids have formally resolved, the quantum of seizures will go up, as 15 lockers have to be opened. The value of immobile properties identified will be measured soon,” a senior I-T official said.

He stated that the exercise of analyzing the documents, esteeming the properties, recording the declarations of persons concerned and starting action would be a time-consuming process.

“We have to inspect the documents of movable and immobile assets and check how much of it has been transported to account,” he said. “We have also found diamond jewelry but could not determine their value. We will get a specialized valuer to determine the value of the diamonds,” the official stated. “In the ladies’ hostel of the college [belonging to Sasikala’s brother Dhivaharan], we have found 6 Rolex watches and are now raising the watch models to get their assessed value. A big amount of cash was also set up at the hostel,” he stated.

Sources stated that all business transactions of Mr. Vivek, comprising the dealings of Jazz Cinemas, of which he is in-charge, are being scrutinized. 2 years ago, Chennai’s biggest multiplex, SPI Cinemas, sold its 11-screen multiplex, Luxe Cinemas, positioned in a mall in Velachery, to Jazz Cinemas. Those who were tangled in business transactions with Mr. Vivek are being interrogated about past transactions.

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