Unaccounted assets worth 162 crores and dozens of Kg gold recovered from former congress minister in Karnataka

The I-T officials raided the houses of Karnataka Small-Scale Industries Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi at Gokak in Belagavi district and the home-office of Congress women’s wing President Laxmi Hebbalkar at Belagavi and Bengaluru.

angluru/ Delhi

The Income Tax department has detected undisclosed assets worth over Rs 162 crore and seized Rs 41 lakh cash, besides over a dozen kg in gold and jewellery during searches on the premises of a Karnataka minister and state Mahila Congress chief.

Officials said the department has also got inputs about a number of “benami” assets and “unexplained investments” during the searches at the premises of Small Scale Industries Minister Ramesh L Jarkiholi and Mahila Congress president Laxmi R Hebbalkar in Gokak, Belgaum and here last week. The searches followed allegations of tax evasion.

Both Jarkiholi and Hebbalkar were not available for comments.

“The searches led to the admission of undisclosed income of Rs 162.06 crore and unexplained cash amounting to Rs 41 lakh, besides 12.8 kg gold and jewellery. Many people who had large incomes and investments were found not to be filing I-T returns and the probe in the case is going on,” they said.

The searches, they said, were launched on January 19 to probe allegations of tax evasion in the sugar business apparently run by groups associated with the duo.

The investigators, sources said, found “huge unexplained cash deposits” had been made in the bank accounts of their family members and associates, and in benami names in primary cooperative socities which were transferred to business entities engaged in sugar manufacturing.

“It was also detected that non-existent persons have been made share holders and investors in one of the sugar companies. Evidences of creation of bogus assets and siphoning off money from the company through various concerns engaged in turn-key projects for setting up sugar factories have also been gathered,” they said.

The IT department sources said, entry operators, people who facilitate in hawala-like transactions, were involved in making huge deposits in banks which were routed through various intermidiaries to escape the tax net.

The department has also issued summonses to a number of people allegedly involved in the case to take the probe forward, they said.

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