IT raid on Sandalwood stars: Assets worth 11 cr seized

Income Tax raided premises belonging to Producer, Actor Rockline Venkatesh, at 3rd main, West of Chord road 2nd Stage, Nagpura , Bengaluru. DH file photo

A day after completing the two-day raids on the houses of Sandalwood actors in Bengaluru, the Income Tax department on Sunday officially revealed details of the raids by its sleuths. According to an official statement by the department, the sleuths belonging to the Karnataka and Goa region had conducted discreet enquiries for more than three months before the search and identified the modus operandi besides the key players.

The IT officials revealed that the search operation was carried out at 21 premises and surveys at 5 places. “As many as 180 Officers and officials were mobilised from various places in Karnataka and Goa region for the purpose. The Department conducted discreet enquiries for more than three months before the search and identified the modus operandi and the key players,” the statement said.

The searches, according to the officials, covered film production houses, film producers, film financiers and actors. “The Searches have been successful in unearthing evidence of suppression of income from film production distribution and exhibition as well as evidence of unaccounted cash expenditure in the film. In particular evidence of unaccounted theatre collections in cash and consequential evasion of taxes have been found,” the release stated.

This apart, evidence of unaccounted professional receipts by artists, cash investments in properties and jewellery through unaccounted income have been found.  “Evidence has also been found of suppression of income from the sale of audio, digital and satellite rights, unaccounted cash receipts from distributors, and of expenses from undisclosed and unaccounted sources,” the officials revealed.


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The searches, spanning two-days, resulted in the seizure of undisclosed assets valued at Rs. 11 Crores including cash of 2.85 Cr and Gold Jewellery of 25.3 kg. “Incriminating evidence found when put across to the persons involved resulted in the admission of unaccounted income of about Rs. 109 Crores. There are many issues on which evidence has been found but no admission has been made: the detection of concealed income will be a much higher figure,” the release stated.

The sleuths also found some of the evidence like diversion of cash collected by theatres which will be of interest to other revenue and enforcement agencies and will be duly shared with them. In accordance with the normal process of the Investigation Wing will be launching some prosecution cases for tax evasion at a very early date.

The IT department has also requested the entertainment industry in Karnataka to follow laid down accounting standards by recording all transactions in books of accounts and pay due taxes.


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