IT Dept conducts searches on a Pune & Thane based unicorn start-up group

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New Delhi: Income Tax Department conducted a Search & Seizure operation on a Pune & Thane based unicorn start-up group, primarily engaged in the business of wholesale and retail of construction material, on 09.03.2022. The group has Pan-India presence having annual turnover exceeding Rs. 6,000 crore. A total of 23 premises were covered in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, in the search operation.

A large number of incriminating evidence in the form of hard copy documents and digital data have been found & seized during the search operations. This evidence revealed that the group has booked bogus purchases, made huge unaccounted cash expenditures, and obtained accommodation entries, aggregating to the tune of over Rs. 400 crore.

This evidence were confronted to the Directors of the group, who admitted under oath this modus operandi, disclosed additional income of more than Rs. 224 crore in various assessment years, and consequently offered to pay their due tax liability.

The search action also revealed that the group had obtained huge foreign funding via the Mauritius route, by issuing shares at an exorbitantly high premium.

During the search operation, a complex hawala network of some Mumbai and Thane based shell companies was also unearthed. These shell companies exist on paper and were created only for the purpose of providing accommodation entries. Preliminary analysis has revealed that the total quantum of accommodation entries provided by these shell entities exceeds Rs. 1,500 crore.

“So far, unaccounted cash of Rs. 1 crore and jewellery of the value of Rs. 22 lakh have been seized. Further investigations are under progress,” read a press note by the Ministry of Finance.

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