Income tax officials raided four sand mining companies at 98 locations in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on Thursday morning. The raids were conducted as part of a tax evasion probe against mining and mineral export companies, PTI reported.
The searches took place at 38 places in Coimbatore, 24 in Tirunelveli, 30 sites in Thoothukudi, two places in Coimbatore, and four locations in Andhra Pradesh, including Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam.
The searches were conducted at the premises of business groups in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Karaikkal in Tamil Nadu, and Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. The offices of garnet exporting firm VV Mineral were among those searched, according to The Times of India. News 7 Tamil, a channel owned by S Vaikundarajan, the managing director of VV Mineral, was also reportedly raided.
“We have information about VV Minerals and its associate companies evading taxes and having unaccounted income,” an unidentified senior income tax official told the daily. “The searches are conducted after several surveys and inquiries.” He added that details about cash, documents and other things seized from the offices will only be known by the evening.
Over 130 tax department officials are conducting the raids. They said the companies used illegal profits earned through mining and exporting minerals to invest in businesses like spinning mills, sugar mills, hotels and engineering colleges. Some overseas transactions made by these firms in violations of the law are also being examined, the officials told PTI.