Detection of undisclosed foreign assets of over Rs 1,000 crore and domestic evasion of over Rs 35 crore has been allegedly found by the Income-Tax Department during its recent searches conducted against the Bharat Hotels group, which runs the hotel chain of Lalit Hotels, officials said.
The searches so far have resulted in seizure of unaccounted assets worth Rs 24.93 crore (Rs 71.5 lakh cash, jewellery worth Rs 23 crore and expensive watches worth Rs 1.2 crore), the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a statement on Friday.
“Evidence seized during the search reveals that a large amount of black money was stashed abroad by the group, through the mechanism of Trusts, formed in early 1990s in tax havens. Such foreign holdings of the main persons have remained hidden for decades beneath complex multi-layered structures, located in different countries, ensuring secrecy,” the statement said.
While CBDT did not name Bharat Hotels in their statement, officials confirmed the details pertain to the searches conducted against the group earlier this week. The CBDT said the group is a “leading member of the hospitality industry, running a hotel abroad and a chain of luxury hotels under a prominent brand name situated at various locations in India”.
“The investigation has successfully lifted the veil, leading to detection of undisclosed foreign assets of more than Rs 1000 crore, apart from domestic tax evasion of more than Rs. 35 crore which may, inter alia, lead to consequences under the Black Money Act, 2015, as also, action under the Income-tax Act, 1961 respectively. Foreign assets include investment in a Hotel in UK, immovable properties in UK and UAE and deposits with foreign banks. Further investigations are in progress,” the statement said.
The tax department further said that the search action further revealed that one of the close relatives of the promoter family was intentionally introduced as a front to escape the provisions of domestic tax laws.
The department had launched raids at 13 premises of the group, Suri and others on January 19 in and around Delhi.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines