New Delhi: The Income Tax department seized approximately ₹94 crore in cash, along with gold and diamond jewellery worth ₹8 crore, and 30 luxury watches during raids on government contractors and real estate developers across Karnataka and other states on Monday.
The searches, which commenced on October 12, covered 55 premises in cities like Bengaluru, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) disclosed that these operations uncovered unaccounted cash and valuables totalling more than ₹102 crore. Notably, a cache of luxury wristwatches of foreign origin was also discovered at the residence of a private salaried employee, who was not connected to the watch business.
The CBDT revealed that a substantial amount of incriminating evidence was found during these raids, including loose sheets, hard copies of documents, and digital data.
The modus operandi of “tax evasion” detected during the investigations indicates that these contractors artificially reduced their income by inflating expenses through methods like booking bogus purchases, making non-genuine expense claims, and claiming ineligible expenses. These irregularities in the utilization of contract receipts led to the generation of significant unaccounted cash and the creation of undisclosed assets.
The investigation revealed bogus transactions with sub-contractors, some of whom were also covered during the raids. These contractors were found to be booking expenses for non-business purposes, including “liaison expenses.” The search uncovered large-scale unaccounted cash transactions, unrecorded in account books, at the premises of the assessed entities, sub-contractors, and associates, including certain cash handlers.