New Delhi [India], November 25 (ANI): The Income Tax Department conducted searches in around 20 premises spread over Mumbai in Maharashtra, Ahmedabad and Gandhidham in Gujarat and Delhi, informed the press release issued by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday.
According to the release, the department carried out search and seizure operations on certain Indian companies and their associate concerns, controlled by a neighbouring country on November 16 this year.
These companies are engaged in the business of chemicals, ball bearings, machinery parts, and Injection moulding machinery. The search action covered around 20 premises spread over Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Gandhidham in Gujarat and also in Delhi.
A large number of incriminating pieces of evidence in the form of digital data showing earning of huge unaccounted income by these companies has been found and seized.
"It has been found that these companies are indulging in tax evasion through manipulation of books of accounts and transferring funds by using a network of shell companies to a neighbouring country. An estimated amount of Rs 20 crore was transferred in the last two years," the statement added.
During the investigation, it has been revealed that a Mumbai-based firm not only assisted information of these shell companies but also provided dummy directors to these shell companies.
"These dummy directors were either the employees or drivers of the firm or they were persons of no means. On questioning, they admitted that they were not aware of the activities of these companies and that they had been signing on documents as per the instructions of the key functionaries," the release said.
It further stated that the firm also assisted the foreign nationals by providing its addresses for banking and other regulatory requirements.
One of such companies trading in chemicals was found to be routing the claim of purchases through Marshall Island, a low tax jurisdiction, it said.
"The company actually purchased items worth Rs 56 crore from a neighbouring company but the same has been billed from Marshall Island. However, payment for such purchases has been made into the bank account of the Marshall Island-based company which is held in the neighbouring country," the release stated.
It was further unearthed during the search proceedings that this Indian company was also involved in taking non-genuine purchase bills to reduce its tax liability and also paid unaccounted cash for the purchase of land in India.
"The search action has already resulted in the seizure of unaccounted cash of about Rs 66 lakh. Bank accounts of some of the companies, with aggregate bank balances of about Rs 28 crore, have been put under restraint," it added.
Further investigations are in progress. (ANI)