The Income Tax department on Thursday said that they have seized unaccounted cash worth Rs 77 crore from various locations in Chennai and Madurai, belonging to a financier in the Tamil film industry. Officials are also investigating actor Vijay’s investment in immovable properties and remuneration received from his last film Bigil.
Since Wednesday, officials have been conducting searches in over 20 locations associated with the AGS Group, which includes AGS Cinemas and AGS Entertainment. AGS Cinemas had produced Bigil. Properties connected to movie financier Anbu Chezhiyan were also searched. The money recovered today also purportedly belongs to Chezhiyan.
A number of property documents, promissory notes, post-dated cheques taken as collateral security were also recovered during the search and have been seized, the department said in a statement. It is estimated that the concealment in this case is likely to exceed Rs 300 crore.
Chezhiyan is notorious for harassing his clients to pay back the money loaned to them, according to The News Minute. In November 2017, he was booked for abetment of suicide over the death of Tamil producer Ashok Kumar who had alleged harassment over debts.
Vijay was on Wednesday issued summons while he was shooting for his upcoming movie Master. “Questioning is still underway,” an unidentified tax official told the website. “There have been no significant findings from Vijay’s house.”
This is not the first Vijay movie to run into a controversy. In 2017, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tamil Nadu unit had asked for some scenes from Mersal to be removed as they were seen as being critical of the Goods and Services Tax and the Digital India initiative. The party accused Vijay, son of veteran film director SA Chandrasekhar, of spreading false information because of alleged political ambitions.