Income tax raids against relatives and business associates of sidelined AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala and her nephew T T V Dinakaran, continued for the fourth day today in in over 20 locations, including Jaya TV, its CEO Vivek Jayaraman in Chennai and Midas Distilleries in Padappai in suburban Tambaram.
The raids in the city today focussed on assets of Vivek Jayaraman, nephew of Sasikala and son of Ilavarasi, who is currently lodged in jail. Vivek who also owns Jazz Cinemas.
Sasikala and Ilavarasi are both convicts in the disproportionate assets and are now serving a four-year term in a Benguluru jail.
An official said:“We are focusing on Vivek’s companies and properties. Yesterday, we seized a number of land documents and later met the original land owners. We recorded statements from them who said their lands were grabbed from them”. An I-T team seized BMW and Skoda cars, apart from diamonds and high value documents from him.
The raids also covered the residence of Sasikala’s niece Krishna Priya in the city. They questioned her regarding a trust she was managing. She was also believed to be linked to over 60 shell companies floated by Sasikala and her relatives.
Officials continued their raids on Green Tea in Curzon Estate in Nilgiris and grilled its manager Natarajan. They also continued their searches on timber merchants Arumugha Swamy and Sujaveen in Coimbatore.
The officials concluded their raids on a women’s college run by Sasikala’s brother Divakharan in Mannargudi early today.
Another team searched the residence of Sasikala’s astrologer Chandrasekhar in Cuddallore. After completing the searches in the early hours of today, officials took Chandrasekhar to Puducherry for further questioning.
Chandrasekhar is believed to have dabbled in shares also. They are investigating whether he served as a front man for Dinakaran in share transactions and also helped him in white-washing black money after demonetisation, sources said.
After three days of intense searches, officials ended their raids on Lakshmi Jewellers in Puducherry and Karaikkal in the Union Territory. The raids followed recovery of documents showing that the owner of the jewellery showroom had pledged his showroom in Puducherry and a hotel on East Coast Road to Midas Distillery and raised Rs 189 crore as loans for expanding his business.
The IT officials concluded their searches in the residences of Sasikala’s lawyer Senthil in Namakkal and sealed a room.
Officials said they had recovered documents running to hundreds pages and nearly 300 bank accounts, showing investment in lands and other assets across Tamil Nadu. The extent of tax evasion would be known only after a thorough scrutiny of the documents, the officials said.
They said they would report to the Central Board of Direct Taxes on Monday.
Meanwhile, Dinakaran has said mere seizure of cash and jewels would not amount of proof of unaccounted money.”We are ready to account for whatever they may seize”, he told reporters.