Income tax department searches 24 premises of Hiranandani group

Last week, several premises linked to Omaxe were searched by the department for allegedly indulging in “unaccounted” cash transactions with customers of around Rs 3,000 crore.


Income Tax department | Hiranandani | Real Estate

BS Reporter  | 
New Delhi 

The income tax department has stepped up its operation against real estate players, conducting searches at 24 premises in multiple cities belonging to Mumbai-based Hiranandani Group.

Last week, several premises linked to Omaxe were searched by the department for allegedly indulging in “unaccounted” cash transactions with customers of around Rs 3,000 crore. Delhi-based Omaxe is a listed real estate developer.

The searches on Hiranandani group pertain to alleged tax evasion, including foreign assets linked with a trust owned by the family, according to the people in the department. Officials are learnt to have also covered certain premises linked to Niranjan Hiranandani’s brother Surendra Hiranandani. The searches are likely to continue till Wednesday across Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai, an official told Business Standard.

In the Omaxe case, the department searches have concluded and it has gathered crucial evidence of alleged unaccounted cash receipts, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) stated on Tuesday. Without divulging the name of the firm, the CBDT stated that it searched the premises of a leading real estate group active in north India on March 14.

“The search action covered more than 45 premises in Delhi and NCR, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Lucknow and Indore,” it said. However, officials in the department confirmed the searched group as Omaxe.

The key employees and business heads of various projects have allegedly stated the modus operandi of the group and have allegedly admitted that the group has generated unaccounted income by accepting ‘on-money’ cash from its customers, which has not been recorded in the regular books of account, the CBDT said. The perusal of evidence allegedly found that they contain particulars of investors from whom the group has received “cash loans” amounting to Rs 450 crore, it alleged.

According to the CBDT, unaccounted cash of Rs 25 crore and jewellery worth Rs 5 crore has allegedly been seized while 11 lockers have been put under restraint, the board said.

“A large amount of incriminating evidence, including hard copy documents and digital data, has been seized during the search. The seized evidence contains unaccounted ‘on-money’ cash receipt data of the group from various customers for more than 10 years,” it said, adding that evidence of receipt of such cash exceeding Rs 3,000 crore has been gathered so far.

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