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Income Tax Department conducts searches PAN India on prominent business group


Income Tax Department carried out a search operation under section 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 on 22nd July 2021 on a prominent business group, which is involved in businesses in various sectors, including Media, Power, Textiles and Real Estate, with a group turnover of more than Rs 6,000 crore per annum.

As many as 20 residential and 12 business premises spread over 9 cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, Noida and Ahmedabad have been covered.

The group has more than 100 companies including holding and subsidiary companies. During the search, it was found that they have been operating several companies in the names of their employees, which have been used for booking bogus expenses and routing of funds. During the search, several of the employees, whose names were used as shareholders and directors, have admitted that they were not aware of such companies and had given their Aadhaar card and digital signature to the employer in good faith. Some were found to be relatives, who had willingly and knowingly signed the papers but had no knowledge or control of the business activities of the companies, in which they were supposed to be directors and shareholders.

Such companies have been used for multiple purposes namely; booking bogus expenses and siphoning off the profits from listed companies, routing of funds so siphoned into their closely held companies to make investments, making of circular transactions etc. For example, the nature of such bogus expenditures booked, vary from supply of manpower, transport, logistics and civil works and fictitious trade payables. The quantum of income escapement using this modus operandi detected so far amounts to Rs 700 crore spread over a period of 6 years. However, the quantum may be more as the group has used multiple layers and investigations are being carried out to unravel the entire money trail. Furthermore, these involve violation of S.2(76)(vi) of the Companies Act and Clause 49 of Listing Agreement prescribed by SEBI for listed companies. The application of the Benami Transaction Prohibition Act will also be examined.

Cyclical trading and transfer of funds among group companies engaged in unrelated businesses to the tune of Rs 2,200 crore has been found. The enquiries have confirmed that these have been fictitious transactions without any actual movement or delivery of goods. The tax effect and violation of other laws are being examined.

The real estate entity of the group operating a Mall had been sanctioned a term loan of Rs 597 crore from a nationalised Bank. Out of this, an amount of Rs 408 crore has been diverted to a sister concern as a loan at a low interest rate of 1 per cent. While the real estate company has been claiming expenses of interest from its taxable profit, it has been diverted for personal investments of the holding company.

The listed media company does barter deals for advertisement revenues, whereby immovable properties are received in lieu of actual payments. Pieces of evidence have been found indicating cash receipts in respect of the subsequent sale of such properties. This is under further examination.

Pieces of evidence have been found which indicate receipt of on-money in cash, on sale of flats by the realty arm of the group. The same has been confirmed by 2 employees and 1 director of the company. The modus operandi as well as the corroborating documents have been found. The exact amount of out-of-books cash receipts are being quantified.

A total of 26 lockers have been found in the residential premises of the promoters and key employees of the group, which are being operated.

The voluminous material found during the search operations is being examined.

Searches are continuing and further investigations are in progress.


MDMA tablets worth Rs 5 lakhs seized by Chennai Air Customs at Foreign Post Office


Based on specific information, Chennai Air Customs has seized one registered postal parcels containing MDMA tablets which arrived from Germany at Foreign Post Office, Chennai.

The parcel was addressed to a Chennai based person. On cut opening, one opaque silver plastic packet was found inside. Inside the silver packet, one transparent plastic packet containing 100 green colour tablets with markings "Maserati 300mg NL"  suspected to be MDMA, valued at Rs 5 lakhs were recovered and seized under NDPS Act, 1985.

Total 100 MDMA tablets worth Rs 5 lakhs were recovered and seized under NDPS Act, 1985.

Further investigation is under progress, according to a press release issued by the Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport.


Huge narcotics parcel seized by Chennai Air Customs


In a major breakthrough, based on specific information Chennai Air Customs has intercepted a postal parcel that came from Spain at the Foreign Post Office on suspicion of containing narcotics.

On opening the parcel, a cardboard box was found containing a greeting card and two silver plastic pouches. When the pouches were cut open, pink colour tablets with skull shape on the side which were suspected to be MDMA were found inside. As many as 994 Pink Punisher MDMA or Ecstasy tablets, valued at Rs 50 lakhs, were recovered. On opening the greeting card, a white plastic packet was found in which LSD "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide" Stamps were concealed. As many as 249 LSD stamps valued at Rs 6 lakh were recovered.

The parcel was addressed to a person residing at JMJ Motherland, a locality near Auroville Puducherry. Searches were carried out by a team of Chennai Air Customs and Cuddalore Customs officers at the given address. Two persons residing there were apprehended. Also during the search two packets of Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) cannabis (Ganja) was found in the house. On questioning, they informed that they had procured the ganja from Andhra. Ganja weighing 5.5 kg valued at Rs 2.5 lakhs was recovered and seized.

Rubak Manikandan, 29, of Tirunelveli (TN) a freelance mural artist and one Loy Viegus, 28, who works in a chicken farm appeared to be junkies and were arrested for their role in smuggling. Both the accused were presented before Judicial Magistrate Alandur today and were remanded to judicial custody. 

As many as 994 Pink Punisher Ecstasy tablets, 249 LSD Stamps and Andhra cannabis, worth Rs 58.5 lakhs, were recovered and seized under NDPS Act, 1985 and two people were arrested.

Further investigation is under progress, according to a press issued by the Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport.


ED seizes huge assets of fugitives


The Enforcement Directorate today stated that it has attached/seized assets worth Rs 18,170.02 crore (80.45 per cent of total loss to banks) in case of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi under the PMLA.

The ED also stated that it has transferred a part of attached/seized assets of Rs 9,371.17 Crore to the PSBs and Central Government.

The three fugitives cheated the public sector banks to the tune of Rs 22,586 crore.

The ED unearthed the money trail by exposing a web of domestic and international transactions and stashing of assets abroad. The investigation by ED revealed that the three accused used dummy entities controlled by them for rotation and siphoning off the funds provided by the banks.


ED issues Show Cause Notice to WazirX


The Enforcement Directorate has issued a Show Cause Notice to WazirX Crypto-currency Exchange for contravention of FEMA, 1999 for transactions involving crypto-currencies worth Rs 2790.74 Crore.

WazirX was incorporated in December 2017 as a domestic cryptocurrency startup, which acts as a platform for trading in digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tron, Ripple and Litecoin.

The ED has issued a statement saying that it stumbled upon the transactions of the company during an ongoing money laundering probe into the "Chinese-owned" illegal online betting applications.


NIA Chargesheets An ISIS Operative In Madurai Hizb Ut Tahrir Case

NIA has filed a Chargesheet before Special NIA Court, Chennai against a member of fundamentalist organisation Hizb-ut-Tahrir namely Mohammed Iqbal N alias Senthil Kumar.

The chargesheet was filed yesterday against the accused aged 31 years and resident of Kazimar Street, Madurai, Tamil Nadu in RC-08/2021/NIA/DLI u/s 153A, 153B, 505(1)(b), 
505(1)(c) and 505(2) of IPC, sec. 13(1)(b), 38 and 39 of UA(P) Act. 

The case was originally registered as FIR No.971/2020, Thideernagar PS, Madurai City, Tamil Nadu relating to uploading of denigrating posts on Facebook by accused Mohammed Iqbal alias Senthil Kumar. NIA had re-registered the case as RC-08/2021/NIA/DLI dtd.15.4.2021 and taken up the investigation. 
The investigation has revealed that the posts on the Facebook page "Thoonga Vizhigal Rendu is in Kazimar Street" were uploaded by accused Mohammed Iqbal to incite communal disharmony amongst different religious groups, in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. 

He had conspired with other suspects, in the name of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a banned organisation in many countries, and had professed and preached about establishing Islamic State Caliphate or Khilafa and implement Sharia globally including in India by overthrowing non-Islamic governments. In furtherance of the conspiracy, he had participated in closed-door Bayans (meetings) and also created multiple social media accounts, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Telegram, WhatsApp etc to upload posts intending to disclaim, disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and to excite disaffection towards the Indian Government. 

Further investigation into the case is underway.


Notorious Rowdy Gun Manja detained under Gunda Act


Notorious rowdy sheeter Chandrasekhar, also known as Gunmanja, was detained by the city police under Goondas Act in Bengaluru today.

The 35-year-old Chandrasekhar had 13 cases against him including, Murder, attempt to murder, Armed Robbery, Extortion, drug peddling and criminal intimidation. He is notorious for jumping bail and not attending court whenever he was released from jail. He is a habitual absconder.

Considering all the above points, he was detained under Gunda Act in April 2021. His Detention Order has been ratified by the Honourable High Court advisory committee for the next 6 months.


Bengaluru City Police nab two persons for Remdesivir fraud


Bengaluru City Police has nabbed two fraudsters for duping people for Remdisivir injections.

BCP has filed FIRs against the accused of the offences. Their six accounts have been frozen. Also, their mobile phones and ATM cards have been confiscated.

Bengaluru City Police have urged people to report fraudsters and contact only genuine sources.

#COVID19 #Remdesivir #BengaluruCityPolice

Chennai Air Customs make big seizure, earn FM's appreciation


The Chennai Air Customs has seized 1.2 kgs of gold worth Rs 57.75 lakhs from a passenger who arrived from Dubai.

The Gold was concealed in speakers of LED TV in 2 rectangular metal boxes. He was arrested later.

Appreciating this alert move, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated, "Even while speedily clearing imports of necessary medical equipments for treating COVID patients, you have remained alert. Keep up the good work."

#ChennaiAirCustoms #GoldSmuggling

3 employees of ONGC abducted from Assam, states ONGC


The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) has informed that its 3 employees (2 Junior Engineer Assistants and a Junior Technician) have been abducted by unknown armed miscreants in the early hours today.

ONGC informed through a series of tweets from its official handle that the abduction took place on a rig site of ONGC in Lakwa field of Sivasagar District of Assam. The abducted employees were taken by the miscreants in an operational vehicle belonging to ONGC. Later, the vehicle was found abandoned near the Nimonagarh jungles close to the Assam-Nagaland border.

ONGC said that a complaint has been lodged by ONGC with the local police and higher officials of the State Police are on the site. The local administration has been informed about the incident and ONGC is in constant touch with the higher authorities, they added.