The Income Tax Department on Wednesday said it has detected undisclosed income of about Rs 400 crore after conducting raids in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, reported PTI.

In a statement, the Central Board of Direct Taxes said that the raids were carried out on March 11 at 20 locations in Salem, Chennai, Virudhunagar, Coimbatore and Theni.

The department also seized “unaccounted” Rs 50 lakh in cash, jewellery worth Rs 3 crore and nine luxury vehicles worth Rs 12.5 crore after the searches on a “group of individuals who are involved in handling huge amount of cash and routing unaccounted money through foreign entities and bank accounts of their related concerns”.

The statement said the evidence found in the searched premises showed that cash deposits of more than Rs 100 crore were made through various entities in the guise of sale and purchase of agricultural commodities. It said that no such activity exists and no stock was found.

“The sale and purchase invoices were found to be fabricated by their employees,” the CBDT claimed.

The statement said that sales and stock were circulated among group entities to manipulate the turnover in order to obtain bank loans. It said that many of these entities have not yet filed their tax returns. “While Rs 150 crore was received by a group entity through a debenture issue [debt instrument that is not backed by any collateral] from a foreign entity, the evidences found during the search revealed that this was a sham transaction and all the money went to the personal accounts of these individuals,” the CBDT claimed.

It said the entities had imported spices but over-invoiced the import cost to about Rs 25 crore. “To this extent, money was siphoned-off from India and diverted to their personal accounts in other countries,” the CBDT claimed.

The department further alleged that evidence found during the searches suggest that numerous immovable properties were purchased in the last 3-4 years in the prime locations of Chennai and other towns of the state at a value that is even lesser than circle rates. These properties were also not disclosed in tax returns.

“More than 25 luxury cars were found during the search, and many were unaccounted,” the statement said. “Evidence has also been found of the existence of undisclosed foreign bank accounts, foreign credit cards and investments in foreign entities.”

The CBDT said that investigation under the Anti-Blackmoney Act will also be done.

Elections to the 234-seat Tamil Nadu Assembly and the bye-poll to Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat will be held in a single phase on April 6. The results will be announced on May 2.