I-T officers conduct mass raids in Bengaluru

I-T sleuths swoop down on close aides of politicians, CAs, corporators across Karnataka

Sources in the I-T department revealed to DH that the department had received several complaints about large-scale irregularities and tax evasion by the contractors

The Income Tax (I-T) officials conduct raid on the house of Umesh, a former personal assistant of former chief minister B S Yeddiyurappa, at Rajajinagar in Bengaluru on Thursday. Credit: DH Photo/B K Janardhan

Probing into the complaints of tax evasion and illegal transfer of money, the Income Tax (I-T) department officials on Thursday morning conducted simultaneous raids on the houses and offices of six persons including a close aide of former chief minister B S Yediyurappa.

Sources in the I-T department also revealed that similar raids have been carried out in Tumakuru, Bagalkot, Vijayapura and other districts.

A team of more than 150 officials split into various groups conducted the raids as early as 6 am on Thursday on the houses and offices of aides of politicians, engineers, chartered accountants, tax consultants and entrepreneurs at Sahakarnagar and Hegde Nagar. Besides, the raid was also conducted on the house and office of Umesh, a close confidant of former CM B S Yediyurappa and his sons state BJP vice president B Y Vijayendra and Shivamogga MP B Y Raghavendra, near Bashyam circle in Rajajinagar. In total, the raids targeted as many as 31 contractors and five chartered accountants

Sources in the I-T department revealed to DH that the department had received several complaints about large-scale irregularities and tax evasion by the contractors, who have been executing various projects of the Public Works Department (PWD) and Major Irrigation department. Going by the raids, the I-T officials from Bengaluru and Goa directorate targeted only those contractors who had bagged the projects of irrigation canals, bridges, major roads and an airport.

Also Read | No information on Bengaluru I-T raids: CM Bommai

The day-long raids whipped up enough curiosity as I-T officials carried out an intense search at the house of BMTC driver-cum-conductor Umesh, who is currently posted in the CM Secretariat on deputation. The sleuths raided the Umesh’s rented house at the Rajajinagar's Bashyam Circle, own house 'Dhavalagiri' in MS Ramaiah Nagar near Nagasandra off Tumakuru Road.

Sources close to the BSY family revealed that Umesh was close to BSY and his sons for close to a decade. It was alleged that Umesh had amassed wealth worth several crores disproportionate to his income. It was also alleged that Umesh, using his close proximity to the BSY's family, had influenced the officials for awarding contracts and reportedly acted as a liaison between the entrepreneurs and the officials.

At the end of raids, the I-T officials reportedly seized two bags full of documents, bank documents, files related to government projects, property ownership-related documents. The senior I-T officials have also reportedly interrogated Umesh at his house pertaining to various documents and bank transactions.

Other than the contractors and close aides of politicians, the I-T officials also raided the offices and houses of business persons in Sahakarnagar who supply cement, steel and iron and other construction materials to large-scale projects.

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