I-T Probe Finds Rs 203 Cr Undisclosed Income in Birla Case

New Delhi
I-T Probe Finds Rs 203 Cr Undisclosed Income in Birla Case

An Income Tax probe has claimed to have found an undisclosed income of Rs 203 crore in the hands of different people of Aditya Birla Group which had allegedly used the hawala route to transfer an undisclosed sum of money.

Months after the sensational seizure of Rs 25 crore in one of the Aditya Birla Group offices here in October 2013, a report filed by the Additional Director of Income Tax (Investigation) claims that Aditya Birla Management Corporation Pvt Ltd received cash from certain companies of the Group through the angadias/hawala operator in Delhi.

The report of February last year, however, does not say what the money was used for.

The I-T department investigation said company's Deputy General Manager (Accounts) Anand Kumar Saxena admitted "that the unaccounted cash used to be received by him at the office premises of ABMCPL through various angadias."

The probe put the undisclosed income at Rs 203.18 crore in hands of different persons.

When contacted, the company reacted saying, "in some quarters of the media, reports have been quoted totally out of context."

The company said the Group has already made it clear through its press release on October 17, 2013 that it was both taken aback and concerned about the money seized in one of the group company's premises.

"We are aware that some of the employees of the group company's Delhi office have been questioned by the investigating agency. We are not privy to what they have stated to the investigating agency which has been reported in one of the newspapers. And therefore we would not wish to comment at this stage," it said.

The company would continue to extend full cooperation to the agencies as and when required, it said.

On a tip off from CBI, which was probing allocation of coal blocks to Birla's Hindalco Industries, the I-T department had on October 16, 2013 carried out search at ABMCPL's office here and claimed to have recovered over Rs 25 crore in cash and a number of "incriminating" documents.

The I-T report said Group Executive President Shubendu Amitabh owned up the cash saying he was carrying out money lending and real-estate financing activities in his personal capacity.

He offered to disclose Rs 55.73 crore income but I-T report said he had "not come out with complete truth and has been evasive with regard to some of the relevant transactions and has sought to explain the same by taking refuse under the alibi of his alleged money lending and real estate financing activities."

Saxena, it said, was "the in-charge of keeping accounts for M/s ABMCPL and custodian of the unaccounted cash handled at the office premises of M/s ABMCPL."

To I-T Department, ABMPCL claimed that the transactions pertained to Shubhendu Amitabh.

The probe says a local hawala operator had admitted that he used to deliver cash to Saxena after receiving it from Mumbai.

Of the Rs 203 crore undisclosed income, Rs 55.73 crore was attributal to Amitabh for fiscal years from 2007-08 to 2013-14, while Rs 34.63 crore was related to Sunbeam Trading & Investments Pvt Ltd for four years beginning 2007-08. Another Rs 1.73 crore was attributed to one Vijay Mundhra.

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