In a major seizure, the income tax (I-T) authorities seized Rs8 crore in cash during searches on major real estate developer Lodha Group.
Out of the total cash, Rs6.5 crore was seized from the locker that was in the name of an employee of the group. The locker was in a private locker room at Kalbadevi, a senior I-T officer said, requesting anonymity.
The officer said the locker was in the employee’s name to conceal cash, which is unaccounted for, from the department.
The rest of cash was found at the residence and office premises of the owners. Over 10 note-counting machines were used to count the cash. Abhisheck Lodha, managing director of the group did not respond to calls and text message.
I-T officers had on Monday conducted raids at the offices of Lodha group to detect concealed income. The searches continued on Tuesday.
Around 20 premises of the group and those having business link with the firm were searched. During searches, the I-T officers found that the group had shown excess payments to the suppliers of building materials and contractors.
In some cases, the excess payments given to the suppliers and contractors by cheques, came back to the company in cash.
Similarly, excess payments were shown to property brokers. In some cases, the brokers did not exist even though payments were shown on their names.
Officers also found that to evade tax, the group had inflated expenditures that reduced profit. “This helped them in paying less tax,” the officer said.
They had also sealed 14 lockers belonging to the owners and their family members. “We would reach at a conclusion on total tax evasion by Wednesday,” the officer said adding that scrutiny of records will give idea on how much fictitious expenditure was shown to evade tax.