Why fresh I-T raids at 33 places in TN?

The income tax department on Tuesday raided 33 locations in Tamil Nadu belonging to major business groups. The raided premises include those owned by the construction and engineering firms Patel Group, Marg Group, Milan Group and Ganga Foundations Group.

The raids were based on specific inputs of large-scale tax evasion, money laundering and misappropriation of funds through shell companies, a senior Income Tax official sai.

The searches are part of the Operation Clean Money drive launched in Tamil Nadu but have nothing to do with jailed AIADMK leader Sasikala and sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran.

However, initial reports said the raids were connected to Sasikala’s kin. Operation Clean Money has been hunting for shell companies, illegal bank deposits after demonetisation and tax evasion.

Several incriminating documents and storage devices were seized when reports last came in, officials said and added that the searches followed actionable inputs on money laundering immediately after the demonetisation policy was announced.

The searches come in the wake of the recent arrest by the Chennai police of the chairman and managing director of the MARG Group, G R K Reddy, following a complaint by a customer who had booked flats in the group’s delayed real-estate projects.