In its raid at the office of Lucknow-based news channel Bharat Samachar, the Income Tax Department seized INR 3 crores in cash and unearthed more than INR 200 crores in unaccounted transactions.
Bharat Samachar group has multiple business interests in various sectors including mining, hospitality, liquor, real estate and media.
The IT department raided its offices in Lucknow, Basti, Varanasi, Jaunpur and Kolkata on Thursday (July 22).
The IT department in a statement said “During the searches, more than 15 companies incorporated at Kolkata and other places were found to be non-existent”.
The searches have revealed that individuals and shell companies were used to launder money to the tune of INR 40 crores.
"The group therefore devised a complex strategy of earning huge unaccounted income through the creation of sophisticated financial layers of dubious and bogus entities spread across multiple states, to route this unaccounted money back into the main businesses without paying any taxes. The total amount of such unaccounted layering through bogus entities exceeds Rs. 170 crore while the total unaccounted transactions exceed Rs. 200 crore”, read the IT department statement.
Some NGOs and trusts have also been used to siphon off the money.