In a series of searches conducted in Jammu & Kashmir on Thursday, the Income Tax Department has seized undisclosed cash of Rs 1.44 crore and unaccounted jewellery worth Rs 2.48 crore.
The tax department, in a statement, said these actions are part of the continued drive against use of black money by disruptive elements in the state.
“The operations also send a message of deterrence and obviation to those intending to vitiate the democratic process of free and fair elections,” it said. Searches were conducted at five locations in Kashmir where undeclared property transactions of more than Rs 41 crore and concealed financial transactions of nearly Rs 17 crore were detected by the department.
A number of hard disks have also been seized whose analysis is likely to result in identification of third parties that have indulged in “property and financial transactions that have been deliberately concealed from the tax authorities”, the statement said.
Giving details, the taxman said a search was against a prominent trader who apparently used proxies to conduct large cross-LoC trade in the past six years.
“Large undisclosed profit earned by him has been diverted to allegedly suspect elements in the Valley,” the statement said. In another operation, a big land and property broker in Srinagar was also searched on the same day, who allegedly facilitates absorption of unaccounted cash of undesirable elements of the valley in real estate and immovable properties in and around Srinagar.
“Evidence of series of land transactions have been unearthed by the Department revealing that Rs 4.21 crore earned from the same was completely concealed from the tax and other regulatory authorities,” it said. Follow up actions shall be taken up against both sellers and buyers of these properties, who have not shown the source of income to buy the property and neither paid any capital gains tax on its sale, it said.
A hotelier and a retailer of liquor was also searched by the tax department in Kashmir.
Separately, the family business of another popular group in Jammu and Katra was also searched by the department, allegedly revealing that a significant proportion of unaccounted cash and the money so earned has been round tripped in real estate deals in Jammu and Katra.
The untaxed proceeds have also been used to construct a retail mall in Jammu and to acquire expensive jewellery for the family members, it added.