Mumbai/Pune, 7th October 2021: Action is being taken by the Income Tax Department at the residence of the factory director related to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. The Income Tax Department has raided the Jarandeshwar Sugar Factory in Satara.
It is learned that action is being taken against not only Jarandeshwar but also Daund Sugar, Amblik Sugar, Pushpadanteshwar Sugar and Nandurbar. All these sugar factories belong to Ajit Pawar’s close associates. Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar’s son Parth Pawar’s office has also been raided by the Income Tax Department.
This action is being taken from 6 am today. The Income Tax Department has made this inquiry for over 12 hours. Ajit Pawar’s sister and related companies had been raided since morning.
The I-T dept has been conducting raids on all the homes and offices of Ajit Pawar’s family and close associates since this morning. Now, it is the turn of his son, Parth, who owns an office at Nariman Point, Mumbai. An investigation has been launched at Parth’s office and officials have seized some incriminating documents.
Ajit Pawar’s sister Vijaya Patil’s Mukta Publication House has also been raided by the Income Tax Department.
“I don’t think the companies related to me were raided. But it is a pity that my sisters, who have no direct connection with politics or companies, are being prosecuted just because they are related by blood. I don’t want to say anything about raiding companies related to me, because I am also a citizen. The only thing I feel bad about is that action is being taken against one of my three sisters from Kolhapur and two from Pune, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar told the media in Mumbai.
The Income Tax Department carried out a search operation that commenced on 23.09.2021 on a big syndicate involving certain businessmen/middlemen of Maharashtra and some persons holding public offices. The intelligence was developed over 6 months. In all, 25 residential and 15 office premises were covered under the search, while 4 offices were covered under survey. 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 total transactions detected during this search are to the tune of Rs 1050 crore, I-T department stated in a press release.
It further states, “These middlemen 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. The liaisoners also used ‘angadiyas’ for transfer of cash and Rs.150 lakh was seized from one of the angadiyas during the search.
The documents recovered include a summary of overall cash generated and disbursed giving the particulars of the amounts received and receivable, each being more than Rs 200 crore. Key areas of generation of this money have been found to be cash paid by bureaucrats for getting key postings under a certain Ministry, 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. Furthermore, one of the businessmen/middlemen had also amassed huge unaccounted income by purchasing lands from farmers and transferring the same to Government undertakings/big corporates. Many senior bureaucrats/their relatives and other prominent people have been found to have invested in these schemes.
During the search, evidence unearthed at the office premises includes date-wise transactions for a certain period of cash deposits of around Rs 27 crore and cash payments of around Rs 40 crore. Further, evidences have been found of cash payments to the tune of Rs 23 crore made to various persons, whose names are prefixed with various code words. The said middle man receives payments from various businessmen and industrialists for getting lands under the schemes of Government undertakings, extension of tenders/mining contracts, etc. Further, in a WhatsApp chat, particulars of cash transactions have been found showing receipts of cash of around Rs 16 crore and outflow of around Rs 12 crore.
Some of the persons searched have their own real estate and construction businesses, in respect of which evidences of cash receipts/payments have also been found.
Voluminous digital data has been recovered and seized from mobile phones, pen-drives, hard drives, iCloud, e-mails etc. which is being examined and analyzed.
So far, cash of more than Rs. 4.6 crore and jewellery valued at Rs. 3.42 crore have been seized. 4 lockers found during the search operation have been put under restraint orders. Further investigations are in progress.”
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