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Disguised as Mahakumbh Pilgrims, IT Sleuths Raid Six Establishments in MP’s Chindwara

The vehicles used by teams were pasted with stickers suggesting pilgrimage bound to Prayagraj Mahakumbh to maintain the confidentiality of the operation.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:February 21, 2019, 10:27 PM IST
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Bhopal: Disguised as Mahakumbh pilgrims, the income tax department officials on Thursday raided half a dozen locations in political hub Chindwara in Madhya Pradesh. Earlier, the IT sleuths had posed as a marriage party during a raid in Mandsaur and Neemuch.

In continuation of crackdown on black money and hawala transactions ahead of Lok Sabha polls, the IT raided six establishments belonging to three prominent business families in Chhindwara, the home town of MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

The IT Department teams from Jabalpur, Nagpur and Raipur comprised around 100 officers.

The vehicles used by teams were pasted with stickers suggesting pilgrimage bound to Prayagraj Mahakumbh to maintain the confidentiality of the operation, sources said.

The premises raided by the IT teams included jewelry showrooms, hotels, automobile outlets, real estate projects, etc belonging to three influential families.

“We have stumbled upon over six bank lockers and large numbers of incriminating documents at the raided places and the companies could have links with paper and shell companies,” an IT official said wishing anonymity.

Anything on tax evasion could be said on Friday, the officer added.

Chhindwara, the home turf of senior politician Kamal Nath since 1980, has come to prominence further after Nath assumed office as Chief Minister of MP in December 2018 and is due to contest a by-poll from here after his loyalist Deepak Saxena has resigned as MLA on Wednesday.

Another IT search underway at the establishments of a road contractor is expected to conclude on Thursday and is expected to expose Rs 15 crore of undeclared income. The recent searches on oil firms in Mandsaur and Neemuch had yielded Rs 60 crore of unaccounted wealth.

This is not the first time that IT sleuths have resorted to innovation to dodge innovative tax evaders. A recent search on oil firms in Madsaur and Neemuch was conducted under the guise of a marriage procession.

Few months ago, the establishments of various businessmen were searched by the IT officers who posed as tutorial staff on a sightseeing trip in Hoshangabad.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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