- Income tax department’s operation against Pune-based start-up group
- Maharashtra Unicorn has an annual turnover of over Rs 6,000 crore
- The raids were carried out at 23 places in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, UP and MP
The Income-tax department searched the premises of a Pune-based Thane-based Unicorn start-up group engaged in wholesale and retail trade of construction materials, at 23 locations, CBDT officials said.
Evidence has emerged that the group booked counterfeit purchases, spent huge amounts of unaccounted cash and received housing entries, totaling more than Rs 400 crore, CBDT officials said.
The group has an annual turnover of over Rs 6,000 crore and a presence across India. The search operation covered a total of 23 premises in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
During the search, a large amount of criminal evidence in the form of hard copy documents and digital data was found and seized.
The evidence was confronted by the group’s managers, who admitted under the oath of office, declared an additional income of over Rs 224 crore in various assessment years and offered to pay their due tax liability as a result.
The investigation further revealed that the group received huge amounts of foreign funds through the Mauritius route, issuing shares at an exorbitant premium.
During the search operation, a complex hawala network of some shell companies based in Mumbai and Thane was also uncovered. These shell companies exist on paper and were created for the sole purpose of providing accommodation entry. Preliminary analysis shows that the total number of housing entries issued by these shell companies is more than Rs 1,500 crore.
So far, unaccounted cash of Rs 1 crore and jewelery worth Rs 22 lakh have been seized.
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