I-T digs its claws deep | india | Hindustan Times
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I-T digs its claws deep

india Updated: Apr 21, 2010 00:19 IST

At least three of the eight teams participating in the IPL may have to face serious questions from investigating authorities amid suspicions of “slush money” from tax havens being invested in their clubs.

I-T department sources said preliminary evidence collected from the survey at IPL headquarters last week indicates that entities based out of tax havens like Mauritius and the British Virgin Islands hold significant equity in three teams.

Serving of notices to IPL franchises, as early as next week if any round tripping of funds was noticed, was not ruled out.

I-T authorities have summoned IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi and CEO Sundar Raman on Friday to clarify details on a host of issues including sources of funds for all teams.

A special team, under PS Sivasankaran, Assistant Director (Investigation), has been formed in Mumbai to carry out the investigations. I-T department is also likely to seek the help of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to analyse some high value cross-country monetary deals during 2008-09 and 2009-10.

The FIU, created by the finance ministry to monitor money laundering, has a list of 4409 suspicious transactions in 2008-09 including dubious foreign remittances. Tax authorities would analyse the destination of these monies to establish whether
some might have found its way into the IPL.

In 2008 and 2009, the BCCI earned Rs 604 crore as franchisee fees, of which it disbursed Rs 536 crore to the teams as their share from the central revenue pool, sources told HT.

Modi and Raman have been asked to come armed with the bidding documents of all eight franchises. They have also been told to furnish details of shareholding in each franchise, including names and addresses of individuals or entities holding a share, and their contracts with the IPL. Details of payments made by the franchises to the BCCI and IPL since inception, and vice-versa, and the profit and loss accounts of the IPL and BCCI have also been demanded. The department has already prepared a preliminary report on benaami, or unnamed, investors in IPL teams based on the findings of the survey carried out at IPL headquarters last week.

The BCCI itself is in focus; the department is looking to examine the treatment of incomes earned from the IPL by the BCCI’s bookkeepers. Sources revealed that even player auctions will come under the microscope, and Modi and Raman will need to provide information of all player auctions, conditions of payment and actual payments made to players.