Continued action by the income tax department against black money hoarders post demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh has led taxmen to a suspected hawala racket in Gwalior.
The suspected hawala racket was being operated by a sugar trader in Dal Bazar area since the twin high value currency notes demonetisation was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to a senior I-T department official in Bhopal, acting on specific intelligence inputs the department sleuths started searches at the establishments of the sugar trader in Gwalior on Thursday.
The searches, which continued on Friday, also revealed that since November 8 the sugar trader had helped black money hoarders convert the defunct currency notes worth around Rs 5 crore into new currency notes.
The defunct currency notes received from unidentified persons for conversion into new currency notes were first shown in the books of accounts as proceeds of sale of sugar before November 8.
The sale was shown in the books of accounts to customers who were actually fictitious.
The defunct currency notes were subsequently deposited in banks. Once deposited in the banks, the trader issued cheques to a third party who subsequently got new currency notes from banks through encashing of cheques.
Subsequently, the new currency notes were rendered to those who had parked the defunct currency notes with the sugar trader.
The sugar trader and his associates charged commission from those parking the black money.
“We’ve so far been able to track conversion of around `5 crore defunct currency notes into new currency notes through the suspected hawala racket. Further investigations are underway,” the IT department official added.
Meanwhile, similar search at the business establishment of a prominent jeweler in Sarafa Market area of Gwalior has revealed that the jeweller sold gold and jewellery worth around Rs 10 crore within a couple of days from November 8.
I-T dept survey at two builders in Bhopal ends
Meanwhile, the I-T department survey underway at the establishments of two builders in Bhopal since Tuesday ended on Thursday.
“The two builders whose head offices are located in Malviya Nagar and MP Nagar have surrendered a total of Rs 7 crore undisclosed income to the taxmen, but scrutiny of documents could take the figure of concealed income even further,” the official added.