The income tax (I-T) authorities have written to the United Kingdom (UK) seeking help in investigating three credit card numbers, details of which were found in former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi's mobile phone.
The investigation wing of the I-T department in Mumbai had not only found the credit card numbers in Modi's BlackBerry phone, but also their PIN numbers. The I-T suspects that the credit cards belong to Modi's relatives, who also have stakes in IPL franchisees. The department, in the letter, has mentioned five names, three of whom they suspect could be owner of these cards.
The credit cards are Master and Visa cards and have been issued by Barclays and American Express Banks in UK. The I-T wants to find out the names on which these cards have been issued and the transactions done using them in the last few years.
The I-T had, last week, given no objection clearance to the UK authorities to question the cardholders if need arises. “In reply to our request for investigating details of credit cards, they wrote back asking if they could question the cardholders in case they do not find all the details with banks or elsewhere,” a senior I-T officer said, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
He said that the department suspects that presence of credit card and PIN numbers in Modi's phone show that there was some arrangement between the former IPL commissioner and these cardholders for using the same.
“Otherwise why would someone have PIN numbers of different persons' credit cards stored in his mobile phone,” the officer said.
The department suspects that Modi might have done online transactions using these cards.
The department had last month also written to the RBI seeking details of transactions done by using these cards. Once all the details are in, the department would tally it to find out if the same were accounted for in IPL accounts.