I-T Dept targets teams, players
Taxmen searched cupboards and sifted through papers and data stored in computers in the offices of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Kolkata, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Chennai, Deccan Chargers (DC) in Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab (KP) in Chandigarh, reports HT. See graphics| Specialindia Updated: Apr 22, 2010 17:45 IST
Tax officials searched offices of four Indian Premier League (IPL) teams and broadcasters on Wednesday amid allegations of financial irregularities and murky dealings as the controversy-scarred tournament’s first semis got underway in Mumbai.
The operation, dubbed in simple terms as a “survey”, was part of a pincer attack in which Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials are separately chasing foreign exchange law violations in a maze of transactions linking tax havens to mysterious stakeholders in some teams.
Taxmen searched cupboards and sifted through papers and data stored in computers in the offices of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Kolkata, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Chennai, Deccan Chargers (DC) in Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab (KP) in Chandigarh.
I-T department sources said the IPL franchisees will have to furnish complete information on salaries and perks paid to players over the last three years, effectively bringing players and their incomes under the ambit of the probe.
Tax department officials told HT the surveys were being carried out to collect information on team shareholding, funding patterns and balance sheets.
The department had carried out a similar survey at the
IPL headquarters in Mumbai last week. “Some information was not available with the IPL and that is why these surveys are being conducted,” an I-T department official told HT.
The department has asked IPL boss Lalit Modi to appear before it on Friday and furnish details of team ownership, auctions and balance sheets.
Earlier in the day, the department “raided” the premises of Multi-Screen Media (MSM) in suburban Malad, telecasting agency of IPL; World Sports Group (WSG), marketing agency of IPL; International Management Group (IMG), the organising agency; and the Bandra house of Venu Nair, CEO of WSG.
“The tax officials requested details of the contractual arrangements in relation to the BCCI and IPL and WSG cooperated fully with the officers and will continue to do so,” said a WSG statement.
There are allegations that MSM had paid a “facilitation fee" of $80 million (about Rs 368 crore) to an offshore Mauritius based company of WSG. In Kolkata, tax sleuths carried out surveys at KKR's offices in Eden Gardens and also the team hotel. I-T officers believed that the amount of Rs 2 crore given to the CAB as the first instalment for organising the matches at Eden, had transactions going back to Mauritius.
Similar searches were carried out at the premises of Deccan Chargers Sporting Ventures Limited Sporting company. In Chennai, investigators surveyed the office of CSK owned by India Cements.
BCCI secretary N Srinivasan is the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements. The ED has registered a case against IPL after it received preliminary information that foreign funds without permission of RBI might have trickled in, sources said.