In one of the biggest recoveries till date, the Income Tax (IT) department has seized Rs 163-crore cash and about 100-kg bullion, following raids at multiple premises of a road construction firm in Tamil Nadu, officials said today.
The searches were launched on Mondya at the premises of Ms SPK and Company, a partnership firm engaged in roads and highways construction on contract from the government.
"About Rs 163 crore cash, which is suspected to be unaccounted, and bullion and gold jewellery weighing about 100 kg have been seized so far. The raids are still going on," a senior official of the IT department said.
Officials said the seizure was probably the biggest so far in raid operations anywhere in the country.
The department had seized over Rs 110-crore cash following raids at the premises of a mining baron in Chennai post demonetisation in 2016.
The Chennai investigation wing of the IT department is conducting the operation.
The raids were carried out after the department found "evidence of suspected tax evasion by the firm and its associates" that were believed to have political links, the senior IT official said.
A total of 22 premises -- 17 in Chennai, four in Aruppukottai (Virudhunagar district) and one in Katpadi (Vellore) -- were being searched, the officials said.
The seized cash was kept in big travel bags and parked cars, they said, adding that dozens of gold biscuits were seized.
A number of documents and computer hardware were also seized by the department, the officials said.