On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed to have seized cash worth Rs 27.90 crore and around 6 kg of gold from a flat belonging to former actor Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee, who is under arrest for a school jobs scam. Speaking to The Indian Express, an ED official said the “counting went on for several hours”.
The seizure, the ED said, included cash worth Rs 27.9 crore (Rs 2,000 notes packed into bundles of Rs 50 lakh each, and Rs 500 notes packed into bundles of Rs 20 lakh each), gold and jewellery worth Rs 4.31 crore (3 gold bricks of 1 kg each, 6 bangles of 500 gram each among other jewellery and one gold pen).
In an earlier raid on another of Mukherjee’s flats located in Tollygunge in south Kolkata, ED officials said they had found cash running to nearly Rs 20 crore, along with more than 50 lakh in foreign currency, 20 mobile phones and a cache of incriminating documents.
A look at some raids that made news in the past.
On July 6, the Income Tax (I-T) department raided over 40 premises in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai in connection with two Tamil Nadu-based business groups and detected “undisclosed” income of more than Rs 500 crore. It said the groups were “suppressing” their taxable income by claiming bogus purchases and expenses.
* March 2022
The I-T department claimed to have stumbled upon undisclosed income worth Rs 224.25 crore from a Pune-based start-up, whose annual turnover was estimated to be over Rs 5,000 crore, dealing with construction material. Officials at the time said this was the largest such find from a Pune company, especially a start-up. A total of 14 search and nine survey operations were carried out on company premises in Mumbai, Thane, Pune Noida, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Nashik, Sangli and Indore.
* December 2021
Officials from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Department recovered Rs 150 crore from across multiple locations in Kanpur, allegedly linked to businessman Piyush Jain, who dealt with pan masala and perfumes.At the time, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Chairman Vivek Johri said it was the biggest recovery ever in the history of the department.
* December 2016
I-T officials claimed to have found Rs 5.7 crore in then newly-introduced Rs 2,000 currency notes in a secret compartment in a bathroom wall at the home of KC Veerendra, a JD (S) member.
Veerendra, two of his associates, unidentified officials of the SBI, SBM, ICICI and Kotak Mahindra Banks and an RBI official were arrested.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau claimed to have recovered cash worth Rs 20.07 crore, bank and post office deposit certificates of Rs 58 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 14 lakh from the house of a sub-assistant engineer employed with the Bally municipality, Pranab Adhikary. He and his son Tanmay were subsequently arrested. The same year, the Bally municipality was merged with the Howrah Municipal Corporation. CPM’s Arunava Lahiri was also raided as part of the probe.
Income-Tax officials raided premises connected to Yadav Singh, the engineer-in-chief of Noida Authority and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority, to investigate alleged tax evasion while selling plots in Noida.I-T officials claimed to have seized over 2 kg of gold and diamond jewellery and Rs 10 lakh in cash from Singh’s house. They also seized Rs 10 crore that they found in an SUV, the key to which was reportedly found at the residence of Rajendra Minocha, a director of Mcconn Infra Private Limited. Yadav’s wife Kusumlata was director of this firm till 2012-13.Additionally, Rs 40 lakh was seized from the residence of Anil Peshawari, a partner in Meenu Creations, a designer attire firm that had Kusumlata as the board of directors, and Rs 40 lakh in cash from Meenu Creations’ office.
The I-T department claimed to have seized nearly Rs 390 crore cash during searches at properties linked to three builders — Amey Builders and Property Developers, Swastik Spaces Limited and MAAD Group of Companies — in Mumbai. One of the builders was said to be a relative of Hitendra Thakur, a former MLC.As per officers, the search and seizures began in the end of July and continued till August first week, and involved 120 officers. They searched around 60 office spaces and residential premises of construction companies.
* October 1989
Income tax officers in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzzafarnagar and Bijnor raided nine premises linked to steel and paper mill owner Harish Chhabra and jeweller Chittaranjan Swarup in order to recover cash around Rs 2 crore, as per reports.
* July 1981
For about three nights and two days, about 90 officers conducted simultaneous raids in different properties connected to former MP and industrialist Sardar Inder Singh’s family members in Kanpur. Additionally, factories linked to Singh were sealed. A total of Rs 92 lakh, 250 tolas of gold worth Rs 11 lakh, two gold bars worth Rs 9.12 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 7.54 lakh, 144 guineas of Rs 1.85 lakh and fixed deposits worth Rs 7.04 lakh were obtained according to reports.