Properties worth Rs 130 cr, evidence of hawala found

The Income Tax Department on Thursday said that it found proof of around three dozen properties, worth Rs 130 crore approximately during raids on properties linked to Shiv Sena leader Yashwant Jadhav. It includes properties acquired either by Jadhav and family or their associates or benamidars.

During the raids, conducted last week, the I-T department also found evidence of their involvement in international hawala transactions and routing of ill-gotten money to certain foreign jurisdictions.

The I-T department said that they also found evidence of a close nexus between the Birhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) contractors and Yeshwant Jadhav.

Loose sheets and excel files with details of unaccounted cash receipts and payments aggregating to several crores have also been found and seized during the search at the premises of Jadhav and his associates. These payments have not been recorded in the regular books of account.

Jadhav is the chairman of the BMC Standing Committee and his wife is the MLA from the Byculla constituency.

The tax department carried out search and seizure operations across Mumbai over three days last week, following complaints of corruption and cartelisation in the BMC by certain contractors, Yeshwant Jadhav, and their close associates. In all, more than 35 premises in Mumbai were covered during the search operation.

BMC contractors like Bimal Agarwal, Madani, Bipin Jain and Landmarck Infrastructure were raided and their premises were searched. Agarwal had earlier been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a betting-related case and was also investigated for supplying low-quality bomb disposal suits to the Mumbai police.

The department revealed that, in the case of contractors, the seized documents reveal the modus-operandi adopted by them for large-scale suppression of taxable income was to inflate their expenses. For this purpose, the prominent recourse is over-invoicing of sub-contract expenses through a maze of entities and by claiming non-genuine expenses. Certain instances show that cash has been taken out from these entities and the same has been utilized for obtaining undue favours for the awarding of contracts and also for making unaccounted payments for investments in properties. The preliminary investigation indicates that these contractors have evaded income to the extent of Rs 200 crore on account of the above malpractices.

The search and seizure operation went on for three days and a total of 35 premises were searched. During the search operation, undisclosed cash of Rs 2 crore and jewellery of Rs 1.5 crore have been seized so far. Further investigation is in progress.

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