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IT raids at premises of Sasikala's kin continue

November 13,2017  

IT raids at premises of Sasikala kin continue
The Income Tax (IT) department's search operations for unaccounted wealth at the premises of jailed AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala's kin and their business associates continued for the fifth day on Monday, said a senior tax official........

CHENNAI: The Income Tax (IT) department's search operations for unaccounted wealth at the premises of jailed AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala's kin and their business associates continued for the fifth day on Monday, said a senior tax official.

The search operations resumed on Monday after it was temporarily concluded on Sunday.

The senior IT official declined to reveal any number with regard to the value of cash, gold and property documents seized during the search operations while unconfirmed reports peg them over Rs 1,000 crore.

"We will not be surprised at the value of seized documents, assets. We are experienced officials and know approximately what we could expect during such search operations," the official told preferring anonymity.

He said the department waited for the individuals and companies associated with Sasikala to file their tax returns for the year, adding that searches were carried out to detect tax evasion based on the filing and the data with the IT department.

The official also said that tax demand would be raised after analysing the documents and obtaining clarifications.

The IT department also summoned Karnataka AIADMK leader V. Pugazhendi whose premises were searched last week.

Pugazhendi told reporters that he has been asked to come again a couple of days later, adding that necessary cooperation is being given to the IT officials.

Sasikala, currently serving her jail sentence for corruption, was a confidante of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and lived with her for decades.

The searches were conducted in connection with unexplained routing of cash post-demonetisation through shell companies allegedly connected to Sasikala and her nephew T.T.V. Dinakaran, who heads one of the wings of the ruling AIADMK.

The IT department will look at the routing of funds within India whereas other agencies will look into the routing of money outside India, the official said.

"We have information about shell companies and the search is in connection with their operations," he had said earlier.

A decision on freezing the bank accounts of the searched persons and companies would be taken only after collating the data from the seized papers.

On Thursday, a team of around 1,800 IT officials knocked at the doors of 187 premises -- residences and offices and farmhouses -- to carry out one of the biggest income tax searches on Sasikala's kin and associates.

The places raided included the residence of Sasikala's husband M. Natarajan in Thanjavur, Kodanad Tea Estate belonging to Jayalalithaa, Jazz Cinemas, Midas Distilleries, Sharada Paper and Boards, Senthil Group of Companies, Nilgiri Furniture in Coimbatore, Jaya TV, Namadhu MGR and several other premises in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.