I-T Sleuths Question Malayalam Star Mammooty

I-T Sleuths Question Malayalam Star Mammooty
Income Tax officials, who had conducted raids at the residence and business establishments of Malayalam superstar Mamooty, questioned him for nearly seven hours till early this morning.

The actor who returned from Chennai by 9 pm last night was questioned by IT officials at his residence at Panampilly Naagar here till 3 am today, top IT sources told PTI.

Mammooty "cooperated fully with the officials", the sources said.

Large number of Mammooty fans had gathered at the airport to express solidarity with the actor, when he arrived here with his wife from Chennai last night.

Some more searches will be conducted at his house in Chennai after the actor returns there, R Mohan, Additional Director General, Income Tax told PTI.

"We have taken some documents pertaining to landed properties. It is too early to comment now. A final picture would emerge by Wednesday, he said.

IT Officials had yesterday raided the offices, residences, and business establishments of Mammooty and Mohanlal at various places in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Bangalore and Udhagamandalam (Ooty).

The raids would not be held today, the sources said.

Mohanlal, who is in Rameshwaram in connection with a shoot, would be questioned at Chennai on July 25 and in Kochi on July 26, Mohan said.

The two actors were under I-T scanner for the past few months and the raids, as per Section 132 of the Income Tax Act (relating to search and seizure), came after 'specific information' that they had wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income, the sources said.

Mohan said the enquiry focussed on the difference between disclosed income and real extent of investments.

Verification of documents seized from various premises of the two actors would begin from Monday while scrutiny of their bank accounts and lockers was yet to take place, he said.

Asked if their overseas investments would come under the purview of the investigation, Mohan said I-T officials are now concentrating on properties in India.

He said the department was aware that Mohanlal had recently purchased an apartment in Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

Eleven flats, properties and business establishments of Mohanlal and seven of Mammootty were searched yesterday in raids in three southern states. Of this, two were in Bangalore, three in Chennai and the rest in Kerala.

Mohanlal owns a hotel in Kochi, while Mammootty is patron of a hospital run by his daughter in Bangalore.

The I-T officials had yesterday seized Rs 15 lakh cash from Mammootty's residence at Chennai besides other documents, while I-T sleuths had sealed a room in Mohanlal's residence at nearby Thevara, which would be opened in his presence on July 26.

Searches were also held in six properties and business establishments in the name of Antony Perumbavoor and Anto Joseph, close associates of Mohanlal and Mammootty.

The two actors, highest paid in the Malayalam film industry which they have been ruling since the past three decades, are also brand ambassadors of various products. Mammootty is the global brand ambassador of South Indian bank.
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