The Income Tax (I-T) department constituted 40 teams comprising as many as 250 officials to conduct searches at spots linked to four Noida-based construction groups, including, Bhutani Infra, Group 108, Advent, and Logix, over tax evasion charges.
After conducting a 6-day search at all spots linked to the companies, the I-T officials recovered unaccounted cash worth over Rs 1,500 crore.
The Income Tax department has named the operation ‘Mahakal’, which targeted the four companies that were evading tax while selling commercial spaces. The I-T officials also raided two broker companies.
Officers discovered two pen drives hidden by employees of Bhutani Group, which contained information about the company receiving a huge amount of cash.
In the financial years 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22, the group received cash amounting to Rs 429 crore. Data obtained from the pen drives revealed that the Bhutani Group had accepted an unaccounted-for cash amount of Rs 595 crore from the financial year 2019-20 until now.
Also, officials recorded statements of employees of Bhutani group. In their statements, the key individuals admitted to accepting cash components in group transactions. The group provided ‘Assured Cash Return’ and ‘Brokerage in Cash’ to its investors and brokers.
The entire tax evasion revolved around the Assured Cash Return scheme. The enticing advertisement promised investors monthly payments towards the cost of space, ensuring them a substantial return until possession.
The scheme was used for tax evasion, as revealed in the agreements. As per the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) guidelines, the scheme is legal, and investors are advised to steer clear of it to avoid legal consequences.