The Income Tax (I-T) department that had been probing a business group engaged in the manufacturing of stainless steel and pipes, had retrieved the deleted WhatsApp chat of a key person covered during the probe.
The deleted WhatsApp chat had revealed evidence of obtaining huge accommodation entries by the group to reduce its taxable income. The search action has led to the detection of total unaccounted transactions exceeding Rs 500 crore.
According to the agency, the I-T sleuths initiated search and seizure operations on a business group in Ahmedabad on November 23. The search operation covered more than 30 premises in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
"During the course of the search operation, a large number of incriminating documents, loose sheets, digital evidence etc, have been found and seized. This evidence contains detailed records of the group’s unaccounted income on which due taxes have not been paid," said an agency official.
"A preliminary analysis of evidence indicates that the group is indulging in unaccounted sales of goods and scrap in cash which is not recorded in the regular books of account. Further, incriminating evidence of various malpractices such as unaccounted cash loans advanced and interest earned thereon, expenses incurred in cash, bogus expenses and purchases, unaccounted land investments etc. has also been unearthed," the agency claimed in a statement.
"The deleted WhatsApp chat of a key person, detected during the search had revealed evidence of obtaining huge accommodation entries by the group to reduce its taxable income. The search action from the I-T department on the group has resulted in the seizure of unaccounted cash of Rs 1.80 crore and unexplained jewellery valued at Rs 8.30 crore. So far, 18 bank lockers have been put under restraint. The I-T department has also identified certain Benami properties," the agency official said.