NEW DELHI :
THE Income Tax Department has detected dubious transactions of over Rs 1,000 crore after raids on some Maharashtra public office-holders and middlemen allegedly running a bribe racket for Government clerances and favourable postings for bureaucrats, the CBDT said on Thursday. It said Rs 4.6 crore cash and jewellery worth Rs 3.42 crore have been seized after the raids that were conducted on September 23 “on a big syndicate involving certain businessmen/middlemen of Maharashtra and some persons holding public offices”. Twenty-five residential and 15 office premises were covered under the search, while four offices were covered under survey after the tax department developed “intelligence for over six months”. “Some suites in Oberoi hotel in Mumbai, permanently rented by two of the middlemen and used for meeting their clients, were also subjected to search.”
“The syndicate, consisting of businessmen/middlemen/associates and persons holding public offices, used various code names in their records and in one case had back-dated records by 10 years,” the CBDT said in a statement. The total transactions, it claimed, detected during this search are to the tune of Rs 1,050 crore. The Central Board of Direct Taxes frames policy for the tax department. The statement said the “key areas of generation of this money have been found to be cash paid by bureaucrats for getting key postings under a certain ministry and cash paid by the contractors for getting payments released etc.” Major amount of cash collected had been distributed to various persons, including someone who is mentioned under a code name, it claimed.
The taxman found that the middle men provided end-to-end services to corporates and entrepreneurs “from land allotment to obtaining all governmental clearances”. “Despite using encrypted modes of communication and sanitising devices, the income tax teams were able to recover critical digital evidence and also located a secret hideout from where various incriminating evidences were recovered,” it said.