The Income Tax (I-T) department seized Rs 15 crore cash — the highest in recent times — during raids on realty major Orbit Corporation Limited in Mumbai on Thursday.
The investigation wing of the department conducted searches at six locations belonging to the owners of the company and its senior employees. The company’s office in Worli, two residences of its owners in Worli and Gamdevi, residences of some senior employees of the company in Wadala and Chembur were raided.
The raids began on Thursday morning with about 100 I-T staff taking part and are expected to continue till Friday.
I-T teams have also sealed eight bank lockers belonging to the owners of Orbit and their family members. The lockers will be opened next week.
I-T officials said that the cash was seized from the two residences (in Worli and Gamdevi) of the owners and the company’s Worli office. The owners themselves informed the I-T team about the cash during the raid.
Ten employees of State Bank of India (SBI) took eight hours to count the cash with the help of cash counting machines. The amount has been deposited in the SBI account of the investigation wing. Once investigation is complete, the cash would be transferred to the SBI account of the concerned I-T commissioner, under whom the company is assessed.
“The commissioner would adjust the same with the tax demand that would be made to the company,” an I-T official said requesting anonymity.
The teams also seized documents of various projects and deals made by the company besides the account books.
“We are studying the documents to find out the actual quantum of tax evasion,” the I-T official. The company’s income would be verified for the last few years and cross checked with the returns filed.
The raid was conducted after a tip off that Orbit was allegedly receiving part payments in cash.
When contacted, Boota Singh, Director of Income Tax (Investigation), confirmed that the raids were conducted and the seized documents were being examined. He refused to comment further. The company owners were not available for comment.