I-T officials recover Rs 5 crore cash, 8 kg gold, benami assets from AIADMK leader VK Sasikala's properties

Income Tax (I-T) Department officials recovered more than Rs 5 crore in cash from raids conducted at premises of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala's kin, their business associates and their organisations across 40 locations in the country.

According to CNN-News18, I-T officials seized eight kilograms of gold, diamonds worth crores and other benami assets as the massive hunt for Sasikala's unaccounted wealth entered its third day on Saturday. Twenty shell companies and 40 property documents worth Rs 140 crore were recovered as well. The news channel further stated that shell companies were reportedly used to purchase properties by Sasikala.

Responding to it, Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran told CNN-News18, "These raids are being done for political vendetta."

The search operations have been concluded in many places and in other places it is going on, tax officials said. The searches are aimed at detecting tax evasion.

File image of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala. PTI

File image of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala. PTI

About Rs 100 crore circulated through shell companies by Sasikala and her aides is currently being examined as well, reported CNN-News18. After analysis of the documents seized and clarifications obtained, tax demand would be raised and if the party pays the tax amount, including the penalty, the case would be closed depending on the other issues connected with the evasion, an official told IANS.

The searches were conducted in connection with unexplained routing of cash post-demonetisation through shell companies allegedly connected to Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran.

A Coimbatore report, quoting police, said the I-T officials, who were carrying out searches at the premises of a sand merchant M Arumugasamy, as part of the state-wide raids, completed their search on Saturday.

The sleuths, who searched a commercial complex belonging to Arumugasamy, have reportedly seized some "important" documents from there, police said.

The search was also completed at the premises of Sajeevan, who is supplying furniture across Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts. He had also supplied wood and other materials to the Kodanadu bungalow in Kotagiri belonging to late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

Meanwhile, searches at the Green Tea Estate (Curzon Estate), said to be bought by former chief minister, Jayalalithaa and her aide, VK Sasikala some five years ago in nearby Nilgiris district, were going on, the police said.

In Cuddalore, a 10-member team conducted searches at two residences and a jewellery shop.

One of the residences belongs to an astrologer, who reportedly used to give advice to Sasikala, who is now in a Bengaluru jail following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

The I-T department will look at the routing of funds within India whereas other agencies will look into the routing of money outside India, an I-T official told IANS.

On Thursday, a team of around 1,800 I-T officials knocked at the doors of 187 premises-residences, offices and farmhouses - to carry out one of their biggest searches on Sasikala's kin and associates.

The places raided included the residence of M Natarajan, Sasikala's husband, in Thanjavur; Kodanad Tea Estate belonging to late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa; Jazz Cinemas, Midas Distilleries, Sharada Paper and Boards, Senthil Group of Companies, Nilgiri Furniture in Coimbatore, Jaya TV, Namadhu MGR and several other premises in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

With inputs from IANS and PTI

Updated Date: Nov 12, 2017 09:39 AM

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