Surveys by income tax department at 16 jewellery showrooms in four cities of Madhya Pradesh since Tuesday afternoon have paved the passage for search by taxman at four houses of two Bhopal-based jewellers.
The I-T sleuths have started searches at four houses of two Bhopal-based jewellers, including a couple, after retrieving evidence emerging from ongoing surveys at 16 jewellery showrooms.
Surveys at showrooms owned by two of the 16 jewellers revealed that two jewellers raked in moolah worth Rs 45 crore through sale of jewelleries to convert now defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes of customers into liquid assets on November 8 night, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation decision.
The first of the four searches started on Wednesday night at the house of a Bhopal business couple whose showroom had sold jewelleries worth between Rs 12 crore and Rs 15 crore on November 8 night, exceeding its annual sales of around Rs 10 crore.
The search at the couple’s Awadhpuri house led to incriminating documents that could possibly unearth sizeable black money, a senior I-T department official told HT on Thursday.
The search operation has revealed gold and jewelleries were sold to 100-plus customers on November 8, possibly to help in conversion of defunct money into liquid assets.
The IT sleuths started searches on Thursday evening at three houses of another prominent jeweller in Old Bhopal, Arera Colony and Shyamala Hills localities of state capital. Surveys at the showroom owned by the jeweller in Bhopal revealed they did a business of around Rs 30 crore that night.
The surveys in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Ratlam in at least 12 showrooms that started on Tuesday afternoon have so far revealed that jewelleries worth around Rs 100 crore were sold to customers on November 8-9 night only.
Aactual valuation of stock and sales by registered valuers is likely to be completed by Friday.
I-T dept surveys 2 more showrooms in Bhopal
Following more specific inputs about abnormal sales of jewelleries just after PM’s announcement, the I-T department started survey at two showrooms of a premier jewellery brand in Bhopal on Thursday evening. The two showrooms are located at the DB Mall and Malviya Nagar.
Investigations into the sale of Rs 100 crore jewelleries on November 8 night have also revealed that in all the 16 showrooms, the CCTV cameras were not operating, pointing at a pre-planned strategy by these showrooms to facilitate the possible conversion of defunct notes.
Also, the department is facing difficulties in tracking the customers to whom jewelleries were sold, as the sales bills either bear names of fictitious customers or mystery codes.