On January 31, 2024, the Income Tax Department, under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance, launched a significant search and seizure operation in Chhattisgarh. Targeting a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), his close associates, and several government officials, the operation spanned across more than 25 premises in the districts of Raipur, Surguja, Sitapur, and Raigarh. This maneuver was part of a broader effort to clamp down on tax evasion and corruption within the state.
The operation’s premise was the suspicion of tax evasion and illicit financial activities involving a PEP engaged in real estate, among other sectors. As the search unfolded, investigators unearthed a trove of incriminating documents, digital evidence, and loose sheets that painted a detailed picture of the modus operandi employed by the individuals in question.
Financial Improprieties Uncovered: The evidence revealed transactions involving approximately Rs. 13 crore in ill-gotten money, routed through complex networks of real estate investments and unaccounted cash expenditures exceeding Rs. 8 crore. This system of financial malpractice was not limited to mere tax evasion but extended into the realm of illegal land grabs and undue influence over government-related works, further implicating the PEP and his circle in a web of corruption.
Real Estate and Land Transactions: A significant portion of the illicit funds was found to be invested in real estate, facilitated by payments of ‘on-money’ and unaccounted expenditures by the PEP’s associates. Additionally, the operation shed light on the illegal acquisition of land, with affected parties and farmers attesting to the undue pressure and influence exerted by the PEP and his associates to secure land transactions and permissions for ‘Punarwas Patta’.
Manufacturing Concerns: Discrepancies were also noted in the financial records of a manufacturing concern operated by the PEP’s spouse, pointing to mismatches between declared turnover and actual bank credits. This aspect of the investigation underscores the multifaceted nature of the financial irregularities involved, extending beyond real estate into other business ventures.
Conclusion: The search operation conducted by the Income Tax Department in Chhattisgarh marks a critical step forward in the fight against corruption and tax evasion. With the seizure of unaccounted cash and jewelry worth over Rs. 2.50 crore, the operation not only highlights the extent of the financial malpractices but also sets the stage for further investigations. As the department delves deeper into the evidence and conducts further analyses, the hope is that these efforts will lead to a more transparent and fair financial system in Chhattisgarh and beyond. The ongoing investigations promise to shed more light on the networks of corruption that undermine the economic integrity of the nation.
Ministry of Finance
Income Tax Department conducts search operations in Chhattisgarh
Posted On: 09 FEB 2024 10:35AM by PIB Delhi
Income Tax Department initiated search and seizure operations in the case of a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), his close associates and few Government officials on 31/01/2024. One of the close associates of the PEP is engaged in the business of real estate. The search operation covered more than 25 premises spread across Raipur, Surguja, Sitapur and Raigarh districts of Chhattisgarh.
During the course of the search operation, numerous incriminating documents, loose sheets and digital evidences have been found and seized. These evidences reveal the modus-operandi of tax evasion and other dubious practices adopted by these persons. Preliminary analysis suggests that these persons have received ill-gotten money in lieu of grant of undue favours to different persons in Government related works.
Incriminating documents recovered during the search, contain details of ill-gotten money of approximately Rs.13 crore, received in cash by the said PEP, through his close associates. Further, evidences seized suggest that this ill-gotten money has been invested in real estate through the associates of the PEP. Similarly, evidence of payment of on-money in purchase of real estate to the tune of approximately Rs. 3 crore and evidence of unaccounted cash expenditure of more than Rs. 8 crore, made by the associates of the PEP, in the real estate business have also been found. The veracity of such evidences has also been buttressed by the statements of close associates of the PEP and their employees, wherein they have admitted the above malpractices.
Further, incriminating documents related to illegal grabbing of land by the close associates of the PEP have also been found. The farmers and the affected persons whose lands have been transferred in such manner, have also admitted in their statement(s) that the said land transactions were completed under the undue influence of the PEP. Similarly, undue influence of PEP was also utilized by his associates in getting the permission for purchase of ‘Punarwas Patta’.
Issues related to mismatch in turnover vis-à-vis bank credits have also been detected from the factory premises owned by the spouse of the PEP, who is running a manufacturing concern of Hume Pipes.
The search operation has resulted in seizure of unaccounted cash and jewellery exceeding Rs. 2.50 crore.
Further investigations are in progress.