Searches were conducted at more than 25 locations in Delhi and National Capital Region by the Income Tax Department probing alleged tax evasion related to the Panama Papers, sources said.
Three business groups with interests in metals and food processing, financial services and tyres were being searched, said a PTI report, and Rs 4 crore cash and jewellery were found during ongoing searches in Delhi, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.
These business groups had allegedly concealed turnover and income, officials said.
Earlier this month, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had said that the Panama probe had led to the detection of undisclosed wealth of Rs 792 crore.
The Panama Papers were investigated last year by The Indian Express as part of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the CBDT said it had found 147 of 426 cases “actionable”.
As reported by The Indian Express on September 8, 2017, the I-T Department filed the first batch of at least five prosecutions against persons named in the Panama Papers in various courts in different cities. Today’s raids are in addition to about 30 searches and 15 surveys (on business premises) conducted in connection with the probe.
In September this year, IT officials said they would concentrate on 70 “actionable” cases as part of the off-shore probe and today’s action appears to be the result of that shortlist.
A multi-agency group was re-constituted earlier this month to probe the Paradise Papers, also investigated by The Indian Express and ICIJ.
The Paradise Papers referred to the largest ever leak of financial data of two firms Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti — with 19 tax havens across the world — which help the global rich and powerful, including from India, to move their money abroad. Among the 180 countries represented in the data, India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names. In all, there are 714 Indians in the tally.