The income tax department, which raided the premises of IREO Group, a clutch of realty firms, began inquiry into the group’s alleged tax evasion through violation of foreign direct investment norms. It is said IREO’s founder has political links.
The real-estate group is controlled by Lalit Goyal, the brother-in-law of BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal, two of whose companies, PICO International and Deepali Designs, were recently raided by income tax (I-T) department officials.
The I-T officials said they conducted a search to verify allegations of irregular “round-tripping” of funds through offshore tax havens to bring investments into India.
Sources in the department said between R6,000 crore and R8,000 crore were invested in the company, whose ownership was being investigated.
“It’s a clear case of violation of foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations, as unrestricted and unchecked money from abroad has been pumped into the company,” a source said.
The IREO, in a statement to Hindustan Times, however, denied any wrongdoing. It said its investments came from blue-chip companies, university endowments and sovereign wealth funds through a legal entity based in Mauritius.
“Suggestions of any wrongdoing such as ‘unaccounted foreign money’ etc are entirely without any factual basis,” the statement said, adding they were cooperating with law enforcers.