Pune Warriors cheergirls during their match against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium. HT/Kunal Patil
Income tax sleuths swooped down on the offices of the Pune Warriors in Pune and Mumbai and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Karnataka capital on Wednesday.
The survey operation was “conducted as part of the probe into alleged tax evasion and documents related to financial transactions, investments, funds used to buy players and shareholding patterns were collected from the offices of the IPL franchises”, an I-T department source said.
“It is too early to comment as the officials are still going through the documents,” the source added.
The action comes on the heels of sports minister Ajay Maken’s statement in Parliament on May 21 that the ministry had written to the revenue secretary seeking an inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate and the I-T department into alleged foreign exchange violations and money-laundering by the Indian cricket board and IPL.
“It was a routine interaction with the I-T department for verifying documents,” a spokesperson for Sahara Group, which owns Pune Warriors, told HT.
"There was a survey by the I-T department and they asked for details of the team. We are cooperating by providing documents," a Royal Challengers official said.
Recently, a sting operation by a TV channel had caught Pune player Mohnish Mishra saying he'd got more than his prescribed auction amount under the table. Mishra and four other IPL players have since been suspended in the spot-fixing scandal.