A team of 20 sleuths from the investigation wing of the Income Tax (I-T) department swooped into the Centrestage Mall at Noida on Wednesday (February 1).
The target: a double-locked huge chest similar to bank vaults at the mall's basement, which allegedly belongs to businessman and liquor baron of Uttar Pradesh, Gurdeep Singh Chadha, popularly known as Ponty Chadha. The sleuths had a tip-off on the presence of more than Rs 100 crore in the chest.
What the sleuths have found inside the chest is still not clear and a mysterious silence has descended on the department.
"We'll issue an official release clearing the status of the raid tomorrow," the Central Board of Direct Taxes spokesperson Anuja Sarangi had told HT on Thursday.
On Friday, I-T sources claimed a modest catch-jewellery worth R10 crore, R5 crore in cash, temporary vouchers showing transactions worth R600 crore in real estate and liquor business, 5,000-page documents, books of accounts and documents of mining leases.
"Prohibitory orders have been issued to banks having Chadha's accounts and (his) 11 bank accounts have been sealed," an official said.
CJ Singh, senior president of Wave Infratech, a Chadha Group company, said the I-T search operation was a procedural matter and bank accounts and transactions were sealed as part of routine procedure. "The Chadha Group is extending full cooperation and assistance to the I-T officials," he said.
He, however, refused to comment on any kind of seizure made by the I-T officials.
Sources said the raid has been suspended on Chadha's request due to his son's marriage. "Once the function is over, Chadha will be questioned," the official said.