250 Tax Officials Dressed As “Baaraati”, 120 Cars – Maharashtra Raid Plan

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Tax raid: The vehicles were all decked up to look like they belonged to wedding procession. (File)

Mumbai:

The raid during which Rs 390 crore-worth assets were seized yesterday by the Income Tax department in Maharashtra’s Jalna was nothing short of a movie scene, complete with officials disguised as a wedding party.

An elaborate arrangement was put in place which resulted in the seizure which included Rs 56 crore in cash, 32 kgs of gold, and diamonds worth Rs 14 crore, besides other property documents and digital data.

The IT department used 120 vehicles for the raids on August 3, but the vehicles left separately so that no one was alerted about the raid. The vehicles were all decked up to look like they belonged to a wedding procession.

Some of the vehicles even carried boards reading “Dulhan¬†hum le jayenge” – the title of a popular Hindi movie from 2000 often used in cars carrying the groom.

Around 250 Income Tax and police officers left in the guise of “baarati“, or wedding parties, to conduct the raids.

The teams conducted raids at the premises, warehouses, and farmhouses related to two business groups dealing in steel, clothing, and real estate.

Officials say the elaborate planning was helpful as they managed to recover jewellery worth crores. It took about 13 hours for the officials to count the cash seized during the raids.

The searches were conducted following inputs about alleged tax evasion by the business groups. The IT department had formed five teams comprising 260 officials for the raids.

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