IT dept seizes Rs 6.76 crore from PWD contractors

IT dept seizes Rs 6.76 crore from PWD contractors

The money seized from the premises of one of the contractors. dh photo

The Income Tax (I-T) department has seized Rs 6.76 crore unaccounted money from PWD contractors in the state.

The department had raided several premises in Mysuru and Bengaluru, belonging to 11 PWD contractors.

A release from the investigation wing of the I-T department (Karnataka and Goa) said the currency seized was in high denominations, Rs 2,000 and Rs 500. The raids were conducted based on  intelligence input that several contractors were in possession of huge stock of cash in high denominations.

Searches were carried out on contractors between April 24 and 26. "This resulted in seizure of Rs 6.76 crore from four such contractors in Mysuru area. The entire amount seized was in high denominations. The cash found and seized is not reflected in the books of accounts maintained by the contractors,’’ the I-T release stated.

Though I-T officials were tightlipped about the details of these contractors, sources told DH that PWD contractors namely Lokesh, Karigowda and Prasanna were among those raided.

Interestingly, the I-T department hinted at the stocking of huge amount of cash by these contractors as one of the reasons for the severe cash crunch at ATMs in the poll-bound state.

‘’Hoarding of cash by the contractors at a time when cash shortage was reported in some areas raises troubling questions. The bulk of the seizure was made from lockers of benami accounts,’’ the I-T release said.

With this, the total cash seized by the department after the start of the election-related surveillance has reached Rs 10.62 crore. The department has also seized jewellery worth Rs 1.33 crore since the election dates were announced.

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