The Income Tax sleuths are continuing their raids at the premises of Coimbatore-based businessman Santiago Martin aka ‘Lottery’ Martin, at Vellakinar Pirivu in Coimbatore for the second consecutive day on October 13, official sources said.
Officials from the Income tax department have been conducting searches at four places belonging to Santiago Martin at Vellakinar Pirivu and Gandhipuram in Coimbatore city since October 12 morning.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel were deployed at the four places.
The search has been going on in the residence of Santiago Martin located at Vellakinar Pirivu in the city, the corporate office of the Martin Group of Companies was located near the residence, Martin Homeopathy College located in the Coimbatore -Mettupalayam road area, and at an office of his located the 6th street of Gandhipuram area. Yesterday, the searches at this place lasted till 7.30 pm.
While the IT officials have, so far, frozen the movable and immovable assets valued belonging to lottery Martin this year, the officials conducted a thorough search at Martin and his son-in-law Adhav Arjun’s office in Chennai.
Meanwhile, the IT officials have again conducted a detailed search at Arjun’s office and Martin’s residence at Kasturi Rangan Salai in Chennai.
The six-member team entered Martin’s house and Arjun’s office in Chennai. The IT officials were escorted by a central armed police force (CAPF) team. The raid continued till October 12 evening, and the officials didn’t reveal any information related to the searches.
In July 2019, ED claimed that Santiago Martin and others entered into a criminal conspiracy to violate the provisions of the Lottery Regulation Act, 1998 and to obtain wrongful gain by cheating the Sikkim Government.
ED also alleged that an agreement contrary to the provisions of the Lottery Regulations Act was dishonestly entered between Santiago Martin and officials of the Sikkim Government.
By this agreement, Martin Lottery Agency Ltd (Presently Future Gaming and Hotel Services (P) Ltd) could practically run the Sikkim State Lottery and avoid the remittance of face value of the lottery tickets to the Government as sales proceeds so as to obtain wrongful gain to themselves by way of non-remittance of sale proceeds to the public account of State of Sikkim and avail the same by conducting sale of Sikkim Lottery tickets in Kerala.
Investigation under PMLA revealed that Santiago Martin and his associates made illegal gain to the extent of Rs. 910.3 crores on account of inflating the prize-winning tickets claim for the period from April 1, 2009, to August 31, 2010.
According to the officials, Santiago Martin invested this illegally gained money from his lottery business by investing in the purchase of immovable properties in the name of 40 companies which were used for laundering the proceeds of crime.
(with inputs from ANI)