The Income Tax (I-T) department on Wednesday swooped over 70 places belonging to Martin Santiago, also called Lottery King, and is conducting searches. The premises are located across India including Coimbatore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad Guwahati, Siliguri, Gangtok, Ranchi and Ludhiana. A senior IT official said, "The Coimbatore Unit of Investigation Directorate, Chennai has commenced searches under section 132 of I-T Act. "
Martin operates primarily in Kerala and north-eastern states where lottery business is still permitted. Martin was detained at Kolkata airport and taken in for questioning. He was caught while he was going to Chennai.
Martin's main business is operation of lotteries run by state governments under agreements with them to function as a marketing agent. Mr. Martin is active in West Bengal and North East states where he holds monopoly control in the trade. He is also into real estate business, according to sources.