Rs1,500 Crore Foreign Funding to a Unicorn through Mauritius Route and Hawala Transactions Unearthed by I-T Dept
Moneylife Digital Team 21 March 2022
During its search and seizure operations on a unicorn start-up, engaged in the business of wholesale and retail of construction material, the income tax (I-T) department has unearthed foreign funding worth Rs1,500 crore via Mauritius route and from a complex hawala network of some Mumbai and Thane-based shell companies. According to reports, the information shared by the I-T department points to business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce marketplace Infra.Market. This unicorn, founded by Souvik Sengupta and Aaditya Sharda, is backed by Tiger Global, Accel and Nexus and is valued at $2.5 billion, reports say.
 
The I-T department conducted search and seizure operations at 23 premises across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh belonging to a Mumbai and Thane- based unicorn. The start-up group is primarily engaged in the wholesale and retail business of construction material, with an annual turnover exceeding Rs6,000 crore.
 
In a release, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) says, "A large number of incriminating evidence in the form of hard copy documents and digital data have been found and seized during the search operations. These evidence revealed that the group has booked bogus purchases, made huge unaccounted cash expenditure and obtained accommodation entries, aggregating to the tune of over Rs400 crore." 
 
"These evidence were confronted to the directors of the group, who admitted under oath this modus operandi, disclosed additional income of more than Rs224 crore in various assessment years, and consequently offered to pay their due tax liability," it says.
 
The search action also revealed that the group had obtained massive foreign funding via the Mauritius route by issuing shares at an exorbitantly high premium. 
 
"During the search operation, a complex hawala network of some Mumbai and Thane based shell companies, was also unearthed. These shell companies exist on paper, and were created only for the purpose of providing accommodation entries. Preliminary analysis has revealed that the total quantum of accommodation entries provided by these shell entities exceeds Rs1,500 crore. So far, unaccounted cash of Rs1 crore and jewellery of the value of Rs22 lakh have been seized," the release says.
 
Comments
saharaaj
3 months ago
matter may soon cool down if it is so large Too large to be caged and indicted
karpaka
3 months ago
I am really worried on the strength of our system! Are revenue departments controllers! If no; why could not the control system detect these proactively!
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