Raids across 13 premises detect black money from ‘group with political links’
Income Tax department (I-T) officials said on Sunday they had found undisclosed foreign assets of more than Rs 200 crore and tax evasion of at least Rs 30 crore by a group involving persons “occupying responsible political positions”, during raids across 13 premises in Delhi, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
“The group, controlled by persons who have significant political presence in a neighbouring state for decades and are occupying responsible political positions, has been generating large amounts of undisclosed income over several decades,” a statement issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes late on Sunday said, without disclosing the names of the politicians.
According to the statement, the searches were carried out on July 23 in “a group” and found evidences of “undisclosed cash dealings of huge amounts” in immovable property transactions and construction. “The black money generated in India through various means has been stashed abroad in the form of lavish properties in the names of foreign trusts/companies located in tax havens,” it said.
Such foreign holdings of the main persons have remained hidden for decades beneath complex multi-layered structures, located in different countries including British Virgin Islands, Panama, United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates, it said.
“These structures have involved various front men and corporations across continents. One of the persons covered during the search operation was trying to obtain citizenship of a Caribbean Island,” it said.
According to the CBDT statement, the investigation, which “successfully lifted the mask” also led to “severe criminal consequences” under the Black Money Act, 2015, apart from action under the Income Tax Act, 1961. The statement said that the findings of the I-T department would also have “multi agency ramifications”.