CA holding high-end properties arrested

NEW DELHI: As part of the government’s ongoing drive to catch hold of tax evaders amassing huge properties with unaccounted money, the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) arrested a chartered accountant (CA) who is believed to have built up an inventory of at least 15 high-end real estate assets in posh localities in Delhi and Gurgaon, besides properties in Canada and an oil mill in Tanzania.

Chartered accountant Ashwani Dewan, who was picked up on Wednesday from Green Lotus Hotel in Dwarka’s Sector 23, allegedly owned by him, had no known sources of income to justify these properties, official sources said. His modus operandi was to float a company, buy property in its name and declare the company sick. The investigation revealed that the accused allegedly purchased at least 15 high-end properties in upscale localities of Safdarjung Enclave, Green Park and Dwarka in Delhi, besides some properties in Gurgaon, Canada and Tanzania.

The CA had been arrested in 2006 in a case related to his textile business in Madhya Pradesh in which he was accused of evading more than Rs 11 crore in taxes. Dewan, who declared his company sick in 2006, had since been absconding and had fled to Canada to run his operations from overseas. However, authorities came to know recently about his properties in India and kept a watch on him and his associates.

A senior DGCEI official said the accused floated several other companies, declared them sick and purchased properties in the name of some of these companies. He was also found to have sold several properties by allegedly changing the directorship of these companies, evading government levies, not leaving behind any trail of financial transactions.

On Wednesday, the DGCEI raided the hotel allegedly owned by him in Dwarka and brought him to its office in R K Puram for questioning where he was later arrested. The CA owns a petrol pump in Karnal and two flats in Safdarjung Enclave among other properties.

Meanwhile, the income tax department has intensified its drive to catch cash hoarders. In operations in Bengaluru, Chennai and Erode on Wednesday, I-T officials seized more than Rs 5 crore in cash of which Rs 4 crore was in new denomination notes of Rs 2,000. The department also seized 7 kg bullion worth about Rs 2 crore from the premises of two engineers and their associates. The bullion was exchanged with banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
The I-T department has also detected unaccounted deposits in Jan Dhan accounts in Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, UP and Kerala. Rs 40 lakh was seized from one such account in Bihar.

Credits ET Realty

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