Opinion

Karnataka Chief Minister’s Close Aide Caught Red Handed in Income Tax Raids!

All those having doubts about demonetization getting rid of black money, had better think again. This Government at the Centre means business! Recently the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had seized Rs 10 lakh cash in new notes of Rs 2000 from the premises of a Kolkata-based doctor.

Today it was the turn of Bengaluru, Goa and Chennai. In the biggest seizure of cash since Demonetization, the Income Tax Department confiscated over Rs.4.7 crores and counting, during the search conducted on two engineers working with the Karnataka State Government. The search covered 40 locations.

Unconfirmed reports say that these engineers worked as Chief Engineers in the Highways and Irrigation departments respectively. They are believed to be S C Jayachandra, of state highway development project and T N Chikkarayappa, MD of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd., both close aides of the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Apart from that some entry operators and bank employee of Dhanalakshmi Bank are also under the scanner, as per reports received by news agency PTI. The search was conducted by a team of more than 50 I-Tax sleuths and police, over a dozen premises in Bengaluru and other locations.

“During the course of searches Rs 4.7 crore cash in new denominations of Rs 2000 and 0.3 crore in old/smaller denominations totaling Rs 5 crore and 7 kg bullion (gold) worth approximately Rs 2 crore were found in a flat.

money

The new notes and bullion are learnt to have been obtained by exchange of demonetized notes by payment of commission of an engineer and a contractor, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body of the tax department, said in a statement here. Apart from that, a Lamborghini, a Porsche and other luxury cars were also seized.

“This is the highest seizure of the new currency in the country post the currency ban on November 8. Some entry operators and bankers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are under the scanner. Such volume of new currency cannot be obtained without connivance of bank officials,” a senior I-T department official said. The department also found a number of identity cards of various individuals raising suspicion that they could have been used to illegally change the old currency with new ones.

Both the I-T department and the ED, along with other enforcement agencies and police, are undertaking search operations after reports of instances of illegal exchange of old currency and stashing of new currency notes to perpetrate hawala and money laundering like activities. On Wednesday, the Enforcement Directorate raided several hawala operators across the country and seized Rs 1 crore in foreign exchange. The seized notes were Rs 50 lakh in old currency and Rs 20 lakh in new currency. The ED conducted searches at multiple locations in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Mumbai and other cities.

So folks, if you still have that cash stocked under your bed, now is the time to come clean on that. It is better to own up, pay the fine and contribute to Nation building and sleep peacefully than have the I-Tax and ED sleuths raiding you. Jai Hind !!!


Rati Hegde

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