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Rs. 90 crore in cash, 100kg of gold seized in I-T raids at 8 locations in Chennai

In an income tax raid at eight locations in Chennai, officials of the department on Thursday recovered Rs. 90 crore in cash and 100 kgs gold from jewellery stores at city’s T Nagar area.

Sources told that the raids are being conducted on the properties of Sekhar Reddy — a sand miner who is close to an influential politician in Tamil Nadu — and Nagarathinam and Ramachandran.

The Income Tax Department has been conducting regular raids since the government scrapped high denomination notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000.

Till December 6, cash and jewellery worth Rs. 130 crore had been seized and Rs. 2,000 crore of undisclosed wealth admitted by taxpayers, the department said.

Of the total seizure, Rs 80 crore was in old demonetised currencies and Rs 10 crore in newly introduced Rs 2,000 denomination. The teams also seized 100kg gold bars worth Rs 30 crore, said the official.

The sleuths got a tip-off about Prem exchanging old currencies for gold bars, and following his trail they stumbled upon the Reddy associates. They seized Rs. 6 crore in newly introduced Rs. 2,000 denomination from the house of Shekhar Reddy in T Nagar.

Following the leads generated during the raids, I-T officials also made enquiries at a few jewellery shops in the city. “We are investigating how the gang managed to get Rs 10 crore in newly introduced Rs 2,000 denomination when there is restriction on money withdrawal from bank accounts and people are standing in queues for hours to withdraw money from banks and ATMs,” said the official.

Apparently, some banks officials are also involved in the racket, said sources.

Since the ban on November 8, the department said it conducted “swift investigations” in more than 400 cases. More than 30 cases were referred to the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation for further investigation.

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