Tax raids on solar power firm find Rs 1350 crore tax evasion

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 23, 2019 10:55 hrs
CBDT - Central Board of Direct Taxes

New Delhi: In fresh disclosures, the Income Tax Department on Monday said it had detected tax evasion of more than Rs 1,350 crore during its early April search and seizure operations carried out on a major solar power company.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in a statement, said that the solar power company was related to a group which was raided on April 7 by the Delhi unit of the Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation).

The I-T Department had launched massive raids on close aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and others on charges of tax evasion and hawala transactions. The raids were carried out at 52 locations across the country in which 300 officials had participated.

In this case, the investigating units had carried out search and seizure operations on several premises in the NCR, Bhopal, Indore and Goa "on the basis of credible information".

The IT raids on the leading solar company found accommodation entries of Rs 370 crore using a maze of shell companies as conduits.

"Evidence of inflation of expenses through bogus billing to the tune of around Rs 330 crore has been detected in the case of a power plant of the said group. The money so siphoned off was collected in US dollars through hawala operators," a CBDT statement said.

A handwritten diary containing records of out of books cash receipts to the tune of around Rs 240 crore was also seized from the office of the group.

"The entries therein have been admitted by the persons concerned," the statement said.

Over-invoicing of imports and round tripping of Rs 252 crore was also detected during the search. Enquiries have revealed that the solar power group used the services of a Dubai-based operator to park unaccounted foreign remittances in overseas jurisdictions. Out of such remittances, about Rs 27 crore was paid towards credit card expenses and Rs 72 crore for purchase of a property abroad.