The Income Tax department has claimed to have seized cash of over Rs 135 crore from the premises of Sahara group during its raids on its two premises in Delhi and Noida in connection with alleged tax evasion charges.
Sources said the department made one of its highest seizures which also includes jewellery worth Rs one crore.
The entire cash, they said, has been remitted in a public sector bank branch in Delhi.
When contacted, Sahara group said, “Please note that the amount mentioned in your query is not correct. But whatever may be the figure, each and every penny is company’s legitimate money.”
“Since last one year, we are facing complete embargo on our properties and for 20 months all our accounts were freezed and the entire amounts of freezed accounts have been paid to SEBI,” a spokesperson for the Sahara group said, adding that the cash has been kept by the company at various locations to meet emergencies.
“Under such circumstances we are tightly managing the affairs of our big organisation and hence some legitimate cash is kept at various points for various kinds of requirements and higher emergencies. As getting bigger amounts from bank account is extremely difficult and when, which account, SEBI will seize, we do not know,” the Sahara spokesperson added.
Officials said the I-T raided these premises on November 22 on suspicion and intelligence inputs that huge amounts of “unaccounted” cash is lying at these locations.
Through the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the tax department is expected to inform the Enforcement Directorate about the cash for probe of any suspected hawala transactions under the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
They added that a report in this regard has already been sent to the Special Investigation Team on black money.
The department, they said, will now issue notices to the Sahara group to “explain the source of this cash”.
Recently, another central investigative agency Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case against the
group in connection with non-payment of crores of rupees to depositors as probed by capital markets regulator SEBI.
The criminal case was registered by Mumbai zonal office of the ED, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, after it got reports in this regard from the Securities and Exchange Board of India.