Bengaluru: Karnataka, in particular Bengaluru, is turning out to be the biggest hotspot for illegal cash transactions in the country post the demonetisation announcement as the city investigation unit of the Income Tax (IT) department has sent 18 references to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) wherein the highest cases of undisclosed cash in new denominations have been seized.
In comparison, two cases each from Ludhiana and Bhopal have been referred to investigative agencies along with a case each from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune among other cities, the department said in its statement on Tuesday.
The department has carried out ‘swift investigations’ in more than 400 cases and over Rs130 crore in cash and jewellery have been unearthed as well as Rs 2000 crore of undisclosed income admitted by tax evaders, the department said.
“Detecting serious irregularities beyond the Income Tax Act, the CBDT decided to refer such cases to the ED and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), enabling them to examine the criminal conduct for immediate necessary action. More than 30 such references have already been made to the ED, and are being sent to the CBI,” the IT department said in a statement on Tuesday.
Since the 8 November announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demonetise Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes, the department has carried out raids in various places in the city. The Karnataka & Goa division of the IT department had carried out raids in various parts of the city leading to the unearthing of Rs.152 crore of unaccounted income, the department said in a statement on 2 December.
The biggest stash of new currency was unearthed in Bengaluru after a 30 November raid on two state government engineers lead to the seizing of Rs.4.7 crore in new Rs.2,000 currency notes, apart from 7 kg of gold and bullion and Rs.90 lakh in old demonetised currency, the Bengaluru division of the IT department said on 1 December.
The raid also led to further investigations into the possession of high end luxury cars and several property documents.
Other references to investigative agencies include the Mumbai units referral where Rs.80 lakh in new high denomination currency were seized, Ludhiana where $14,000 and Rs.72 lakh cash, Rs.95 lakh cash seized from a case in Hyderabad and Rs.20 lakh (Rs.10 lakh new notes) from Pune has been unearthed.
The department has also raided cooperative societies in Karnataka where old notes were being exchanged with multiple high value transactions post 8 November. High value transactions (over Rs.50 lakh) was discovered across many such cooperative societies to the tune of Rs.8,000 crore, Times of India reported on 12 November. “The concerted and coordinated enforcement action of the Income Tax Department, ED & CBI in detecting the malpractices and taking swift action is going to continue in the coming days,” the department said on Tuesday.