Chennai: Conducting simultaneous raids at 187 places, said to be the biggest such operation so far, is no cakewalk for Income-Tax officials, with “parties refusing to co-operate” with them.
“Most of the parties were totally non-cooperative. Our group was treated badly at a particular location, they tried to scare us with ferocious dogs. We eventually had to seek the help of the police,’ said a highly placed source in the department.
This morning, the raids continued to focus on expelled AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala’s family and associates. Yesterday, the raids took place at over 187 locations across Tamilnadu and Puducherry, including in offices of mouthpieces Jaya TV and Namadhu MGR – which are currently controlled by Sasikala and her family.
Sasikala’s family members such as brother Dhivakaran, Ilavarasi’s son Vivek Jayaraman, owner of Jazz Cinemas, nephew T T V Dhinakaran as well as a number of their supporters and associates are under the scanner.
During the search, the team found documents of bogus companies. For example, there is no registered company called A G Builders, but transactions worth crores were taking place in its name. More than 355 persons are under the scanner after yesterday’s raid.
From 2 am this morning, a team of IT officials have found 317 high-value money transaction documents. All over Tamilnadu, the value of land documents seized run into crores. The I-T department laid its hands on 635 documents involving land-grabbing matters and usury.
The ongoing raids being one of the largest crackdowns in the history of the I-T Department was executed so well that nobody had any idea until the raids began early Thursday.
“We went in Fast Track taxis with wedding labels stuck on them as a cover, nobody knew it was an IT search,” said an official.
A Fast Track cab driver, seeking anonymity, said he drove about five officers to a place in Adambakkam. He recalled starting his duty at three in the morning of Thursday and completing it at 1 am on Friday. “The families of the officials raiding the premises also suffered as they were not able to get in touch with them. No phones are allowed during the raid,” he said sympathetically.
According to the driver, the department hired around 200 SUVs from the same cab operator to carry out the raids. He was still driving around with the ‘Srini weds Mahi’ sticker on the windscreen of his cab on Friday.